Visit-to-visit clinic blood pressure variability (BPV) and 24-h BPV have both been identified as independent risk factors for cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and mortality; however, the mechanisms contributing to the increased CV risk as yet are unclear. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between BPV and endothelial function in a cohort of putatively healthy African Americans. A total of 36 African Americans who were sedentary, non-diabetic, non-smoking, free of CV and renal disease and not on antihypertensive medication followed an American Heart Association low fat, low salt diet for 6 weeks. Upon completion of the 6-week dietary stabilization period, participants underwent 24-h ambulatory BP monitoring and had their office blood pressure (BP) measured on 3 separate days. Right brachial artery diameter was assessed at rest, during reactive hyperemia (flow-mediated vasodilation: FMD), and after nitroglycerin administration (nitroglycerin- mediated vasodilation: NMD). Participants classified as having decreased endothelial function according to either %FMD or the FMD/NMD ratio had significantly higher 24-h BPV and a trend for higher visit-to-visit BPV when compared with participants with normal endothelial function. Continuous variable analyses revealed a significant positive association between NMD and 24-h diastolic BPV (DBPV). Visit-to-visit systolic BPV (SBPV), 24-h SBPV and 24-h DBPV were all negatively associated with the FMD/NMD ratio. All relationships remained significant after adjustment for age, body mass index and mean BP levels. These results may suggest that BPV is increased in African Americans with decreased endothelial function and is associated with the vascular smooth muscle response to nitric oxide.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine