Vol 21, No 3 (2017)
Original paper
Published online: 2017-09-29

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Isolated systolic hypertension — evaluation of the scale of the problem among medical students — pilot study

Sebastian Janiec, Konrad Stępień, Paweł Skorek, Marcin Kołodziejski, Agnieszka Stępień, Agnieszka Olszanecka, Danuta Czarnecka
Arterial Hypertension 2017;21(3):132-139.


Introduction. Interest in isolated systolic hypertension (ISH) in young people has increased in recent years. The applanation tonometry technique provides new diagnostic opportunities in this group of patients. The aim of the study was to evaluate the incidence of ISH among young adults and factors contributing to its occurrence.

Material and methods. One hundred and two medical students aged 21 to 26 years were examined. The study was based on three peripheral blood pressure measurements and central blood pressure measurement. Information on health status and physical activity was collected using the author-developed questionnaire.

Results. Based on the mean of peripheral blood pressure measurements, hypertension (HT) was detected in 23 students (22.55%): 18 had ISH, 4 — combined systolic/diastolic HT and 1 — isolated diastolic HT. Pulse wave analysis showed that all individuals with ISH had central blood pressure within the normal range — higher than those without HT, but lower than in the combined systolic/diastolic HT group (p < 0.001). Subjects with ISH were characterized by higher pulse pressure amplitude and lower augmentation index (AIx) compared to those with normal blood pressure. Subjects with ISH were taller, had a higher body mass index (BMI) and were more likely to have a positive family history of HT compared to normotensives. They also reported more frequent coffee consumption; and 22% of them used creatine supplements (vs. 0% in non-HT group).

Conclusions. Measurement of central arterial blood pressure by applanation tonometry should be an integral part of the assessment of young patients with ISH. The study confirmed that ISH patients are characterized by higher growth, weight and physical activity. Further studies are needed to assess the clinical significance of ISH.

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