Aims: We sought to determine whether within normal/high-normal blood pressure (BP) ranges (120-139/80-89 mmHg), aortic BP may further refine BP-related cardiovascular risk assessment, as determined from target organ changes.
Methods: In 1169 participants from a community sample of African ancestry, 319 (27%) of whom had a normal/high-normal BP, aortic BP was determined using radial applanation tonometry and SphygmoCor software, and target organ changes assessed from carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) (n = 1025), estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (n = 944), and left ventricular mass indexed to height (LVMI) (n = 690).
Results: Normal versus high-normal BP categories failed to differentiate between those participants with a BP above optimal values with versus without multivariate-adjusted target organ changes. However, in those with a normal/high-normal BP with aortic SBP values that were less than 95% confidence interval of healthy participants with optimal BP values (45% of those with a normal/high-normal BP), no unadjusted or multivariate adjusted target organ changes were noted. In contrast, those with a normal/high-normal BP with aortic SBP values that exceeded optimal thresholds, demonstrated unadjusted and multivariate adjusted increases in PWV and LVMI and decreases in eGFR (P < 0.05 to P < 0.005 after multivariate adjustments).
Conclusion: In contrast to normal versus high-normal BP categories which do not clearly distinguish normotensives with from those without organ damage, noninvasively determined aortic BP measurements may refine the ability to detect those with a normal/high-normal BP at risk of BP-related cardiovascular damage.