Visit-to-visit blood pressure variability (VTV-BPV) is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular events and death in the general population. We sought to determine the association of VTV-BPV with outcomes in patients on hemodialysis, using data from a National Institutes of Health-sponsored randomized trial (the HEMO study). We used the coefficient of variation (CV) and the average real variability in systolic blood pressure (SBP) as metrics of VTV-BPV. In all, 1844 out of 1846 randomized subjects had at least three visits with SBP measurements and were included in the analysis. Median follow-up was 2.5 years (interquartile range 1.3-4.3 years), during which time there were 869 deaths from any cause and 408 (adjudicated) cardiovascular deaths. The mean pre-dialysis SBP CV was 9.9±4.6%. In unadjusted models, we found a 31% higher risk of death from any cause per 10% increase in VTV-BPV. This association was attenuated after multivariable adjustment but remained statistically significant. Similarly, we found a 28% higher risk of cardiovascular death per 10% increase in VTV-BPV, which was attenuated and no longer statistically significant in fully adjusted models. The associations among VTV-BPV, death and cardiovascular death were modified by baseline SBP. In a diverse, well-dialyzed cohort of patients on maintenance hemodialysis, VTV-BPV, assessed using metrics of variability in pre-dialysis SBP, was associated with a higher risk of all-cause mortality and a trend toward higher risk of cardiovascular mortality, particularly in patients with a lower baseline SBP.Journal of Human Hypertension advance online publication, 27 June 2013; doi:10.1038/jhh.2013.49.
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