Blood Pressure Variability: causes and consequences

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal


An elevated average blood pressure (hypertension) is an important risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. However, blood pressure also varies: from minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day and even over seasons and years. This dissertation investigated the causes and consequences of a high variability in blood pressure. With regard to the consequences, the results indicated that high blood pressure variability was related to stiffer blood vessels, impaired renal function, poorer thinking functions and an increased risk of depressive symptoms. Regarding the causes, we saw that an imbalance of the autonomic nervous system and having diabetes were related to higher blood pressure variability. However, a higher salt intake does not lead to a higher blood pressure variability. The results of this thesis suggest that treatment of high blood pressure variability can be important in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, and that this can be achieved by treating diabetes and autonomic imbalance.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Stehouwer, Coen, Supervisor
  • Kroon, Bram, Supervisor
  • Henry, Ronald, Co-Supervisor
Award date15 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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