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Hypertension. 1998 Sep;32(3):560-4.

Pulse pressure and cardiovascular mortality in normotensive and hypertensive subjects.

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From Investigations Préventives et Cliniques (IPC) and INSERM U337, Paris, France.


There is now increasing evidence that high pulse pressure, which is an indicator of large artery stiffness, is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular mortality, especially coronary mortality, in different populations. We have recently shown in a large French population that in male subjects aged 40 to 69 years, increased pulse pressure was a strong predictor of cardiovascular mortality, especially coronary mortality. In the present report, we analyzed the effect of pulse pressure in men and women of the same cohort after classifying them as normotensive (systolic blood pressure [SBP] <140 mm Hg and DBP <90 mm Hg) or hypertensive (SBP >/=160 mm Hg or DBP >/=95 mm Hg). After adjustment for age, mean blood pressure, and other risk factors, the relative risk (95% confidence limits) for cardiovascular mortality for an increase of 10 mm Hg of pulse pressure was 1.20 (1.01 to 1.44) in normotensives and 1.09 (1.03 to 1.14) in hypertensives. Cardiovascular and coronary death rates were similar in the group of normotensive men with a pulse pressure >50 mm Hg and in the group of hypertensive men with a pulse pressure <45 mm Hg. No association between cardiovascular mortality and pulse pressure was observed in either normotensive or hypertensive women (0.85 [0.60 to 1.21] and 1.0 [0. 91 to 1.11], respectively). Low mortality rates could explain this observation in normotensive but not in hypertensive women, in whom cardiovascular mortality rates were relatively high. Because a high pulse pressure in men is an independent predictor of cardiovascular mortality in both hypertensives and in those considered as having normal blood pressure, this parameter could aid in evaluating cardiovascular risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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