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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Visit-to-visit and day-to-day blood pressure (BP) variability (BPV) predict an increased risk of cardiovascular events but only reflect 1 form of BPV. Beat-to-beat BPV can be rapidly assessed and might also be predictive. METHODS: In consecutive patients within 6 weeks of transient ischemic attack or nondisabling stroke (Oxford Vascular Study), BPV (coefficient of variation) was measured beat-to-beat for 5 minutes (Finometer), day-to-day for 1 week on home monitoring (3 readings, 3× daily), and on awake ambulatory BP monitoring. BPV after 1-month standard treatment was related (Cox proportional hazards) to recurrent stroke and cardiovascular events for 2 to 5 years, adjusted for mean systolic BP. RESULTS: Among 520 patients, 26 had inadequate beat-to-beat recordings, and 22 patients were in atrial fibrillation. Four hundred five patients had all forms of monitoring. Beat-to-beat BPV predicted recurrent stroke and cardiovascular events independently of mean systolic BP (hazard ratio per group SD, stroke: 1.47 [1.12-1.91]; P=0.005; cardiovascular events: 1.41 [1.08-1.83]; P=0.01), including after adjustment for age and sex (stroke: 1.47 [1.12-1.92]; P=0.005) and all risk factors (1.40 [1.00-1.94]; P=0.047). Day-to-day BPV was less strongly associated with stroke (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.29 [0.97-1.71]; P=0.08) but similarly with cardiovascular events (1.41 [1.09-1.83]; P=0.009). BPV on awake ambulatory BP monitoring was nonpredictive (stroke: 0.89 [0.59-1.35]; P=0.59; cardiovascular events: 1.08 [0.77-1.52]; P=0.65). Despite a weak correlation (r=0.119; P=0.02), beat-to-beat BPV was associated with risk of recurrent stroke independently of day-to-day BPV (1.41 [1.05-1.90]; P=0.02). CONCLUSIONS: Beat-to-beat BPV predicted recurrent stroke and cardiovascular events, independently of mean systolic BP and risk factors but short-term BPV on ambulatory BP monitoring did not. Beat-to-beat BPV may be a useful additional marker of cardiovascular risk.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





62 - 67


cardiovascular diseases, humans, hypertension, risk factors, stroke, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Blood Pressure, Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory, Brain Ischemia, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Predictive Value of Tests, Prognosis, Risk Factors, Sex Factors, Stroke