Blood pressure (BP) variability is estimated as the standard deviation of 24-h ambulatory BP. The present study was performed to determine the effect of the mean 24-h ambulatory BP values and standard deviations on arterial wall stiffness assessed by brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV). Brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity, carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), urinary albumin excretion (UAE) and 24-h ambulatory BP were measured before the start of antihypertensive therapy in 203 newly diagnosed hypertensive patients (53.3±0.7 years old; clinic systolic/diastolic BP: 154±1/98±1 mm Hg), and univariate and multivariate regression analyses of these clinical and biological parameters were performed. Univariate regression analyses revealed a significant association between mean baPWV values and the standard deviations of ambulatory systolic/diastolic BP. Mean ambulatory systolic/ diastolic BP values were also associated with UAE, and the standard deviations of ambulatory systolic BP were associated with maximum carotid IMT. Quintile analyses showed that patients with a mean 24-h ambulatory mean BP value and standard deviation below 110 and 20 mm Hg, respectively, had the lowest baPWV. Moreover, the multivariate regression analyses confirmed a significant correlation between baPWV and the standard deviation of 24-h ambulatory systolic BP. In conclusion, untreated hypertensive patients with a higher 24-h ambulatory systolic BP variability had stiffer arterial walls. Ambulatory systolic BP variability may be involved in stiffening of the arteries of hypertensive patients.
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