Geographical Variations in Blood Pressure Level and Seasonality in Hemodialysis Patients

Hypertension. 2018 Feb;71(2):289-296. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.117.10274. Epub 2017 Dec 18.


Seasons and climate influence the regulation of blood pressure (BP) in the general population and in hemodialysis patients. It is unknown whether this phenomenon varies across the world. Our objective was to estimate BP seasonality in hemodialysis patients from different geographical locations. Patients from 7 European countries (Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, and Sweden) participating in the DOPPS (Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study) on years 2005 to 2011 were studied. Factors influencing pre- and postdialysis systolic BP and diastolic BP levels were analyzed by mixed models. There were 9655 patients (median age, 68; 59% male) from 263 facilities, seen every 4 months during a median duration of 1.3 years. Pre- and postdialysis systolic BP increased by a mean estimate of 5.1 mm Hg (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.7-6.4 mm Hg) and 4.4 mm Hg (95% CI, 2.9-5.9 mm Hg) for each 10° increase in latitude (1111 km to the North). In the longitudinal analysis, predialysis systolic BP was lower in summer and higher in winter (difference, 1.7 mm Hg; 95% CI, 1.3-2.2 mm Hg), with greater differences in southern locations (Pinteraction=0.04). Predialysis systolic BP was inversely associated with outdoor temperature (-0.8 mm Hg/7.2°C; 95% CI, -1.0 to -0.5 mm Hg/7.2°C), with steeper slopes in southern locations (Pinteraction=0.005). Results were similar for predialysis diastolic BP. In conclusion, there is a geographical and seasonal gradient of BP in European hemodialysis patients. There is a need to consider these effects when evaluating and treating BP in this population and potentially in others.

Keywords: blood pressure; geography; longitudinal studies; renal dialysis; seasons; weather.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Belgium
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure Determination / statistics & numerical data*
  • Climate
  • Female
  • France
  • Geography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Dialysis / statistics & numerical data*
  • Seasons*
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom