Monitoring pulse pressure may help clinicians identify people at high risk for death from cardiovascular disease. New research findings suggest that pulse pressure readings are independently related to cardiovascular mortality, regardless of left ventricular hypertrophy and systolic dysfunction.
Researchers examined data from about 3,000 American Indians with no signs of cardiovascular disease. During a 7-year follow-up period, 577 people died; 166 of the deaths were attributed to cardiovascular disease.
The frequency of cardiovascular death was almost three times higher in those with high pulse pressure readings (more than 64 mm Hg) than in those with low readings (42 mm Hg or lower). The findings suggest that therapies for reducing left ventricular hypertrophy and improving pump function may not be fully effective unless high pulse pressures are reduced.