Nighttime Blood Pressure Shows Risk

End-stage renal disease and cardiovascular risk predicted by ambulatory blood pressure

(RxWiki News) Knowing that you're at risk for certain health problems makes it easier to take steps to avoid those problems. Now, kidney disease patients have a way to know if they are headed for trouble.

A kidney disease patient's ambulatory blood pressure - or blood pressure over a 24 hour period - was a strong sign of that patient's risk of heart and kidney events, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Nighttime blood pressure was especially good at predicting this risk.

"Nighttime blood pressure shows risk for kidney disease."

People with chronic kidney disease are at risk for end-stage renal disease (kidney failure) as well as all sorts of heart problems. Roberto Minutolo, M.D., Ph.D., from the Second University of Naples in Italy, and colleagues set out to see how blood pressure could help doctors and patients predict these risks.

The researchers wanted to see how daytime and nighttime blood pressure compared to blood pressure taken in a doctor's office.

Blood pressure measured in a doctor's office does not predict a kidney disease patient's outcome, the authors write.

On the other hand, daytime and nighttime blood pressure are fairly good signs of risk of kidney failure and potentially deadly heart problems.

Dr. Minutolo and colleagues came to these findings by studying 436 patients with chronic kidney disease. Patients who had a daytime systolic blood pressure of 136 to 146 mm Hg or higher than 146 mm Hg had a greater risk of heart problems and kidney failure, compared to those with a lower daytime systolic blood pressure.

Patients with a nighttime systolic blood pressure of 125 to 137 mm Hg and higher than 137 mm Hg had a greater risk of heart problems and kidney failure.

These findings suggest that patients with chronic kidney disease may benefit from getting their ambulatory blood pressure measured. 

Review Date: 
June 28, 2011