Decrease in BP Precedes Death in Patients With Diabetes

Decrease in systolic and diastolic BP seen years before death in patients with diabetes

FRIDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- A significant decline in systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) is seen in the years preceding death in adults with diabetes, according to a study published in the July issue of Diabetes Care.

Mary A.M. Rogers, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues investigated BP patterns and correlations with mortality in 3,766 Medicare patients with diabetes between 2005 and 2008. Multilevel mixed-effects linear regression was used to analyze the relationship between all-cause mortality and BP patterns.

The investigators found that, of the 10.7 percent (404) of patients who died, 50 percent were 75 years of age or older. A greater decrease in systolic and diastolic BP was observed in patients who died as opposed to those who remained alive in both the crude and unadjusted models. The mean systolic BP declined significantly by 3.2 mm Hg/year in the years before death and by 0.7 mm Hg/year in those who remained alive, after adjusting for age, sex, race, medications, and comorbidities. A significantly greater decline in diastolic BP was observed in patients who died compared to those who did not die (1.3 versus 0.6 mm Hg/year).

"Our results suggest that a significant decline occurs in both systolic and diastolic BP several years before death in populations of patients with diabetes," the authors write.

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