Prognostic impact of systolic blood pressure variability in people with diabetes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective Blood pressure variability (BPV) has been associated with risk of cardiovascular events in observational studies, independently of mean BP levels. In states with higher autonomic imbalance, such as in diabetes, the importance of BP variability may theoretically be even greater. We aimed to investigate the incremental value of BPV for prediction of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes. Methods We identified 9,855 patients without pre-existing cardiovascular disease who did not change BP-lowering treatment during the observation period from a Swedish primary health care cohort of patients with type 2 diabetes. BPV was summarized as the standard deviation (SD), coefficient of variation (CV), or variation independent of mean (VIM). Patients were followed for a median of 4 years and associations with cardiovascular and all-cause mortality were investigated using Cox proportional hazards models. Results BPV was not associated with cardiovascular specific or all-cause mortality in the total sample. In patients who were not on BP-lowering drugs during the observation period (n = 2,949), variability measures were associated with all-cause mortality: hazard ratios were 1.05, 1.04 and 1.05 for 50% increases in SD, CV and VIM, respectively, adjusted for Framingham risk score risk factors, including mean BP. However, the addition of the variability measures in this subgroup only led to very minimal improvement in discrimination, indicating they may have limited clinical usefulness (change in C-statistic ranged from 0.000–0.003 in all models). Conclusions Although BPV was independently associated with all-cause mortality in diabetes patients in primary care who did not have pre-existing cardiovascular disease or BP-lowering drugs, it may be of minimal clinical usefulness above and beyond that of other routinely measured predictors, including mean BP.


  • Katy J.L. Bell
  • Lamiae Azizi
  • Peter M. Nilsson
  • Andrew Hayen
  • Les Irwig
  • Carl J. Östgren
  • Johan Sundröm
External organisations
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Technology Sydney
  • Linköping University
  • Uppsala University
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0194084
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 1
Publication categoryResearch