Biological correlates of blood pressure variability in elderly at high risk of cardiovascular disease

Rosalinde K.E. Poortvliet, Suzanne M. Lloyd, Ian Ford, Naveed Sattar, Anton J.M. De Craen, Liselotte W. Wijsman, Simon P. Mooijaart, Rudi G.J. Westendorp, J. Wouter Jukema, Wouter De Ruijter, Jacobijn Gussekloo, David J. Stott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background Visit-to-visit variability in blood pressure is an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease. This study investigates biological correlates of intra-individual variability in blood pressure in older persons. METHODS Nested observational study within the PROspective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER) among 3,794 male and female participants (range 70-82 years) with a history of, or risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Individual visit-to-visit variability in systolic and diastolic blood pressure and pulse pressure (expressed as 1 SD in mm Hg) was assessed using nine measurements over 2 years. Correlates of higher visit-to-visit variability were examined at baseline, including markers of inflammation, endothelial function, renal function and glucose homeostasis. RESULTS Over the first 2 years, the mean intra-individual variability (1 SD) was 14.4 mm Hg for systolic blood pressure, 7.7 mm Hg for diastolic blood pressure, and 12.6 mm Hg for pulse pressure. After multivariate adjustment a higher level of interleukin-6 at baseline was consistently associated with higher intra-individual variability of blood pressure, including systolic, diastolic, and pulse pressure. Markers of endothelial function (Von Willebrand factor, tissue plasminogen activator), renal function (glomerular filtration rate) and glucose homeostasis (blood glucose, homeostatic model assessment index) were not or to a minor extent associated with blood pressure variability. CONC LUSION In an elderly population at risk of cardiovascular disease, inflammation (as evidenced by higher levels of interleukin-6) is associated with higher intra-individual variability in systolic, diastolic, and pulse pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-479
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood pressure
  • cardiovascular risk
  • correlates
  • hypertension
  • mortality
  • old age
  • variability


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