Is high pulse pressure a marker of preclinical cardiovascular disease? Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Hypertension


  • This study tests the hypothesis that high brachial pulse pressure might constitute preclinical cardiovascular disease, rather than a risk factor. We studied 1250 subjects (472 nonobese normotensive [<135/80 mm Hg] and 778 untreated hypertensive). Central pulse pressure was estimated from brachial pulse pressure and age and divided by stroke volume (PP/SV). Brachial pulse pressure was considered high when >63 mm Hg, and peripheral resistance high when >90th percentile of normal distribution. Among hypertensive subjects, 34% had high resistance; among them, 33% had high brachial pulse pressure, as opposed to 147 of 516 patients (28.5%) with normal resistance (P=not significant). After adjusting for age, sex, race, body mass index, heart rate, and center, left ventricular (LV) internal dimension and mass were lower with high resistance, and higher when brachial pulse pressure was high. PP/SV was 36% higher with high resistance than with normal resistance, and higher when brachial pulse pressure was high (all P<0.0001). Factorial analysis demonstrated that associations of high brachial pulse pressure with both higher PP/SV and LV mass were independent of other pressure components. Thus, because of these associations, our hypothesis is that in hypertension, pulse pressure may be considered as a marker of preclinical cardiovascular disease, similar to LV mass and PP/SV, rather than a cardiovascular risk factor.

publication date

  • April 2005



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1161/01.HYP.0000158268.95012.08

PubMed ID

  • 15767471

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 575

end page

  • 9


  • 45


  • 4