Blood pressure variability in acute stroke: Risk factors and association with functional outcomes at 1 month

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Background and purpose: Blood pressure variability, in acute stroke, may be an important modifiable determinant of functional outcome after stroke. In a large international cohort of participants with acute stroke, it was sought to determine the association of blood pressure variability (in the early period of admission) and functional outcomes, and to explore risk factors for increased blood pressure variability.
Patients and methods: INTERSTROKE is an international case-control study of risk factors for first acute stroke. Blood pressure was recorded at the time of admission, the morning after admission and the time of interview in cases (median time from admission 36.7 h). Multivariable ordinal regression analysis was employed to determine the association of blood pressure variability (standard deviation [SD] and coefficient of variance) with modified Rankin score at 1-month follow-up, and logistic regression was used to identify risk factors for blood pressure variability.
Results: Amongst 13,206 participants, the mean age was 62.19 ± 13.58 years. When measured by SD, both systolic blood pressure variability (odds ratio 1.13; 95% confidence interval 1.03-1.24 for SD ≥20 mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure variability (odds ratio 1.15; 95% confidence interval 1.04-1.26 for SD ≥10 mmHg) were associated with a significant increase in the odds of poor functional outcome. The highest coefficient of variance category was not associated with a significant increase in risk of higher modified Rankin score at 1 month. Increasing age, female sex, high body mass index, history of hypertension, alcohol use, and high urinary potassium and low urinary sodium excretion were associated with increased blood pressure variability.
Conclusion: Increased blood pressure variability in acute stroke, measured by SD, is associated with an increased risk of poor functional outcome at 1 month. Potentially modifiable risk factors for increased blood pressure variability include low urinary sodium excretion.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

European Journal of Neurology