Cardiac and vascular remodeling in older adults with borderline isolated systolic hypertension: The ICARe Dicomano Study
Although borderline isolated systolic hypertension (ISH), defined as a blood pressure of 140 to 159/<90 mm Hg, is a proven cardiovascular risk factor, the major clinical trials on treatment of ISH have used a cutoff of 160 mm Hg. Moreover, no data exist on the cardiovascular modifications associated with borderline ISH. Therefore, we compared subjects with borderline ISH to subjects with diastolic hypertension (diastolic blood pressure > or =90 mm Hg) or ISH. Community-dwelling residents (age > or =65 years) of a small town in Italy (Dicomano) underwent extensive clinical examination, echocardiography, carotid ultrasonography, and applanation tonometry. Only untreated subjects were included in this analysis: 95 with diastolic hypertension, 87 with borderline ISH, and 43 with ISH. Despite lower systolic and mean pressures in borderline ISH, left ventricular mass was similar to that in diastolic hypertension. In univariate and multivariate analysis, pulse pressure but not systolic pressure was related to left ventricular mass. Borderline ISH subjects had a tendency to greater carotid cross-sectional area and stiffness index than did diastolic hypertensive subjects despite lower mean carotid pressure, whereas the number of atherosclerotic plaques was similar in the 2 groups. Pulse pressure but not systolic pressure was independently related to carotid remodeling. In our community-based, older population, individuals with borderline ISH had a similar prevalence of left ventricular hypertrophy and carotid atherosclerosis as that of subjects with diastolic hypertension, despite lower systolic and mean pressures. Among blood pressure values, pulse pressure was the single or strongest independent predictor of cardiovascular remodeling.