Off The Cuff: Pulse Pressure Serves As Marker For Heart Disease Death

December 09, 1997

DALLAS, Dec. 9 -- A novel form of blood pressure reading can be a strong predictor of coronary heart disease death, according to a study reported by a Paris team of researchers in this month's Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal.

The measurement of pulse pressure is the difference of the two blood pressure measurements -- the systolic (the higher number) and diastolic (the lower number).

Athanase Benetos, M.D., Ph.D., research director at Inserm and associate professor of clinical therapeutics at the University of Paris 6, says this is the first study to show that "pulse pressure measurement may help in the evaluation of the individual risk, therefore the therapeutic decision-making. Our results demonstrated that increased pulse pressure is a predictor of global mortality and cardiovascular mortality, especially coronary heart disease mortality, independently of other risk factors and the level of men's blood pressure."

The study -- spanning about 20 years -- included 19,083 men 40 to 69 years old. Both younger and older individuals with a pulse pressure greater than 65 mmHg had a three-fold increase in coronary heart disease mortality compared to those with a pulse pressure less than or equal to 45 mmHg.

Contact: Athanase Benetos: ph.: 33-143-958345; fax: 33-143-959407.

American Heart Association

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