Background: To investigate the risk of stroke in subjects with isolated systolic hypertension (ISH), isolated diastolic hypertension (IDH), and combined systolic and diastolic hypertension (SDH) in a Japanese general population, we used 24-h ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) and casual-screening blood-pressure (CBP) readings. Methods: Subtypes of hypertension were defined based on systolic blood pressure (SBP) >135 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) >80 mm Hg for 24-h ABP, and SBP >140 mm Hg or DBP >90 mm Hg for CBP. We obtained 24-h ABP and CBP data for 1271 (40% male) subjects aged ≥40 years (mean age, 61 years) without a history of symptomatic stroke; their stroke-free survival was then determined. The prognostic significance of each subtype of hypertension was determined by Cox proportional hazard analysis. Results: There were 113 symptomatic strokes during follow-up (mean time, 11 years). Compared with normotension, among the hypertension subtypes determined by 24-h ABP, the adjusted relative hazards (RHs) of stroke were 2.24 for ISH (P = .002) and 2.39 for SDH (P = .0004). The association was less marked among subtypes determined by CBP (RH = 1.40 and P = .13 for ISH; RH = 2.07 and P = .017 for SDH). The IDH group was excluded from the Cox analysis because both the prevalence and the number of events were low in this group. Conclusions: Isolated systolic hypertension, as determined by 24-h ABP measurements, was associated with a high risk of stroke, similar to that found in SDH subjects; this suggests that the prognosis of hypertensive patients would be improved by focusing treatment on 24-h systolic ABP.
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