Both resting blood pressure (BP) variability and exercise BP previously showed association with incident hypertension. The aim of the present study was to examine whether visit-to-visit variability in exercise systolic blood pressure (SBP) can predict the risk for new-onset hypertension among normotensive adults. We investigated 6546 normotensive men and women who were annually screened in a tertiary medical center and completed treadmill exercise tests at each visit. Based on the initial three baseline annual visits, long-term intervisit variability of exercise SBP among the three tests was measured using standard deviation (SD) and coefficient of variation for each participant. The rate of newly diagnosed hypertension was measured in different variability levels during 6 ± 3 years of follow-up. Multivariate analysis adjusted for various clinical factors, including resting BP, showed that each 5 mm Hg rise in the SD of exercise SBP resulted in a significant 5% increase in the risk for the development of future hypertension (P = .015). Subjects in the upper exercise SBP SD variability tertile had a 28% (P = .007) increased risk for hypertension during follow-up, as compared with those in the lowest tertile. Similar results were achieved for the assessment of coefficient of variation of exercise SBP. In conclusion, visit-to-visit variability in exercise SBP can predict the development of future hypertension among normotensive individuals.
- systolic blood pressure