Vol 20, No 1 (2016)
Review paper
Published online: 2016-03-31

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Visit-to-visit blood pressure variability and cardiovascular and kidney diseases

Jerzy Głuszek, Teresa Maria Kosicka
DOI: 10.5603/AH.2016.0006
Arterial Hypertension 2016;20(1):26-31.


In healthy people and patients with hypertension, blood pressure varies between clinic visits every several days, a week, or a month apart. Although long thought to be an artifact, recent data suggest that visit-to-visit variability of blood pressure is reproducible and has independent association with cardiovascular outcomes and mortality. There currently is no consensus on how to define blood pressure variability best. The most common metric used is standard deviation of mean blood pressure, variation independent of the mean and average real variability. Blood pressure variability is higher in female, older age and patients with hypertension, with cardiovascular diseases, with diabetes mellitus and chronic kidney disease. Therefore, we are not sure if higher blood pressure variability is the only marker of arterial stiffness and consequence of end organ damage or prognostic indicator of cardiovascular events. We also do not know whether reducing blood pressure variability would reduce the risk of cardiovascular outcomes. However, the number of studies on blood pressure variability is growing exponentially and perhaps in the near future, high blood pressure variability will also be the goal of hypertension therapy.


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