Objectives: This study was designed to facilitate clinical use of central pulse pressure (PP). We sought to determine a value that might predict adverse outcome and thereby provide a target for assessment of intervention strategies.
Background: We previously documented that central PP more strongly relates to carotid hypertrophy and extent of atherosclerosis and, more importantly, better predicts incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) than brachial PP.
Methods: Radial applanation tonometry was performed in the third Strong Heart Study examination to determine central blood pressure. Cox regression analyses were performed using pre-specified covariates and quartiles of central and brachial PP.
Results: Among 2,405 participants without prevalent CVD, 344 suffered CVD events during 5.6 +/- 1.7 years. Quartiles of central PP (p < 0.001) predicted outcome more strongly than quartiles of brachial PP (p = 0.052). With adjustment for covariates, only the event rate in the fourth quartile of central PP (> or =50 mm Hg) was significantly higher than that in the first quartile (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.69, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.20 to 2.39, p = 0.003). Central PP > or =50 mm Hg was related to outcome in both men (HR: 2.06, 95% CI: 1.39 to 3.04, p < 0.001) and women (HR: 2.03, 95% CI: 1.55 to 2.65, p < 0.001); in participants with (HR: 1.84, 95% CI: 1.41 to 2.39, p < 0.001) and without diabetes (HR: 1.91, 95% CI: 1.29 to 2.83, p = 0.001); and in individuals younger (HR: 2.51, 95% CI: 1.59 to 3.95, p < 0.001) and older (HR: 1.53, 95% CI: 1.19 to 1.97, p = 0.001) than the age of 60 years.
Conclusions: Central PP > or =50 mm Hg predicts adverse CVD outcome and may serve as a target in intervention strategies if confirmed in other populations and in prospective studies.