HumanInsight Blood pressure variability: methodological aspects, clinical relevance and practical indications for management∗
J Hypertens. 2023 Feb 1. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000003363. Online ahead of print.
Blood pressure is not a static parameter, but rather undergoes continuous fluctuations over time, as a result of the interaction between environmental and behavioural factors on one side and intrinsic cardiovascular regulatory mechanisms on the other side. Increased blood pressure variability (BPV) may indicate an impaired cardiovascular regulation and may represent a cardiovascular risk factor itself, having been associated with increased all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, stroke, coronary artery disease, heart failure, end-stage renal disease, and dementia incidence. Nonetheless, BPV was considered only a research issue in previous hypertension management guidelines, because the available evidence on its clinical relevance presents several gaps and is based on heterogeneous studies with limited standardization of methods for BPV assessment. The aim of this position paper, with contributions from members of the European Society of Hypertension Working Group on Blood Pressure Monitoring and Cardiovascular Variability and from a number of international experts, is to summarize the available evidence in the field of BPV assessment methodology and clinical applications and to provide practical indications on how to measure and interpret BPV in research and clinical settings based on currently available data. Pending issues and clinical and methodological recommendations supported by available evidence are also reported. The information provided by this paper should contribute to a better standardization of future studies on BPV, but should also provide clinicians with some indications on how BPV can be managed based on currently available data.
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