Does blood pressure variability contribute to risk stratification? Methodological issues and a review of outcome studies based on home blood pressure

Kei Asayama*, Fang-Fei Wei, Yan-Ping Liu, Azusa Hara, Yu-Mei Gu, Rudolph Schutte, Yan Li, Lutgarde Thijs, Jan A. Staessen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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This review addresses methodological issues in the assessment of blood pressure variability and the predictive value of blood pressure variability derived from blood pressure readings obtained in the relaxed home environment. Preference should be given to indexes of blood pressure variability that are independent of the mean because we should evaluate the impact of blood pressure variability by eliminating the effect of blood pressure levels. Beat-to-beat blood pressure recordings outperform home blood pressure measurement in the assessment of blood pressure variability in longitudinal Belgian and Japanese population studies, whereas blood pressure variability did not incrementally predict outcome beyond blood pressure level and other cardiovascular risk factors. In conclusion, clinicians should focus on blood pressure level, given that it is the predominant risk factor and is manageable by lifestyle modifications and adequate antihypertensive drug treatment. Blood pressure variability remains a research tool that requires further prospective studies with hard end points to define its potential application, as it may be potentially useful in daily clinical practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-101
JournalHypertension Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


  • average real variability
  • beat-to-beat blood pressure
  • blood pressure variability
  • home blood pressure
  • variability independent of the mean index

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