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J Hypertens. 1993 Oct;11(10):1133-7.

Prognostic value of 24-hour blood pressure variability.

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Centro Fisiologia Clinica e Ipertensione, Ospedale Maggiore, Cattedra di Medicina Interna, Milan, Italy.



Evaluation of the prognostic value of 24-h blood pressure averages and 24-h blood pressure variability.


After an initial thorough clinical and laboratory evaluation which included 24-h continuous ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, a group of hypertensive patients were re-examined after an average of 7.4 years. End-organ damage at the follow-up visit was related to different measures of blood pressure levels and variability obtained at the initial or the follow-up visit or both.


Seventy-three patients with essential hypertension of variable severity, in whom ambulatory blood pressure was monitored intra-arterially for 24 h (Oxford technique) were re-examined at a follow-up visit (including echocardiographic assessment of left ventricular mass index) 1-13 years later (mean 7.4 years). The severity of end-organ damage was quantified by a score and related to clinic blood pressure at follow-up and to (1) clinic blood pressure, (2) 24-h blood pressure mean, (3) 24-h short-term and long-term blood pressure variability, and (4) end-organ damage, all assessed at the initial visit (multiple regression analysis).


The set of independent variables considered was significantly related to end-organ damage at follow-up (R = 0.51). The individual variables most important in determining end-organ damage at follow-up were clinic blood pressure at the follow-up visit (P < 0.01), the initial level of end-organ damage (P < 0.05) and long-term blood pressure variability (among half-hour standard deviation of 24-h mean blood pressure) at the initial evaluation (P < 0.05). The prognostic individual weight of the other haemodynamic parameters considered was less and not statistically significant.


The results confirm that the level of blood pressure achieved by treatment and the degree of end-organ damage at the time of initial evaluation are important determinants of future end-organ damage related to hypertension. They also constitute the first longitudinal evidence that the cardiovascular complications of hypertension may depend on the degree of 24-h blood pressure variability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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