Background: The long-term risk of end-stage renal disease is high in persons with isolated systolic hypertension, that is, those with an elevation of pulse pressure and not of diastolic pressure. Other data suggest that pulse pressure is a predictor of the hypertension-induced organ damage. Microalbuminuria is considered an early sign of glomerular damage caused by hypertension. The study shows the relationship of pulse pressure and isolated systolic hypertension to microalbuminuria in nondiabetic subjects.
Methods: This is a cross sectional analysis for a population sample of 677 men and 890 women, aged 45 to 64 years, who were without diabetes mellitus and macroalbuminuria. Data collection included: overnight urinary albumin and creatinine excretion; fasting plasma glucose, cholesterol, and creatinine; creatinine clearance; and blood pressure, weight, height, medical history, and smoking habit. Pulse pressure was calculated as systolic minus diastolic pressure. Isolated systolic hypertension was defined as systolic pressure > or =140 mm Hg in persons not on antihypertensive drugs and with diastolic pressure <90 mm Hg. Microalbuminuria was defined as urinary albumin excretion > or =20 microg/min.
Results: Pulse pressure and isolated systolic hypertension were significantly related to urinary albumin excretion and the prevalence of microalbuminuria in univariate and multivariate analyses. Controlling for gender and other variables, the risk of microalbuminuria was 1.71 with a 15 mm Hg higher pulse pressure (95% CI, 1.31 to 2.22) and 4.95 in the presence of isolated systolic hypertension (95% CI, 3.15 to 7.76).
Conclusions: In nondiabetic, middle-aged adults, pulse pressure and isolated systolic hypertension are directly related to microalbuminuria, independent of diastolic pressure and other correlates.