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Systolic Blood Pressure, Diastolic Blood Pressure and Pulse Pressure and the Risk of Subclinical Myocardial Injury: The HUNT Study.

BACKGROUND: Subclinical myocardial injury expressed as higher cardiac troponin concentrations may represent an important intermediary between hypertension and the risk of cardiovascular disease. The study aimed to assess the relative strength of associations between systolic blood pressure (BP), diastolic BP, and pulse pressure, and subclinical myocardial injury, and how change in BP variables over time associates with subclinical myocardial injury.

METHODS AND RESULTS: cTnl (cardiac troponin I) was measured in 32 968 participants of the fourth wave of the population-based cohort HUNT4 (Trøndelag Health Study) without a history of cardiovascular disease. An additional longitudinal analysis included participants from HUNT4 with BP measurements from HUNT3 (n=18 681). Associations between BP variables and cTnI concentrations were assessed by linear and logistic regression analyses. The median cTnI concentration was 1.6 ng/L (25th-75th percentiles, 0.6-3.1 ng/L), median age was 52 years (39.1-65.6 years), and 57% were female subjects. Cross-sectionally, only systolic BP categories ≥130 mm Hg associated with higher cTnI concentrations, compared with a reference systolic BP of <110 mm Hg. All categories of diastolic BP and pulse pressure were positively associated with higher cTnI concentrations when diastolic BP 70 to 79 mm Hg and pulse pressure <40 mm Hg were used as references, respectively. When comparing systolic BP, diastolic BP, and pulse pressure as continuous variables, cross-sectionally, pulse pressure most strongly associated with cTnI concentrations ( P for all comparisons <0.001), whereas longitudinally, change in diastolic BP was most strongly associated with cTnI concentrations ( P for all comparisons <0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Subjects with high pulse pressure and longitudinal increase in diastolic BP are at higher risk for subclinical myocardial injury.

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