In a nutshell
This study investigated if elevated blood pressure increases the risk of aortic valve disease (AVD).
They found that increasing blood pressure was associated with an increased risk of AVD.
Aortic valve disease (AVD) is a condition that affects the heart. The aortic valve allows blood to exit the heart without flowing back. AVD is caused by dysfunction of the heart valves. In some cases, the valves may be stiff and cannot close properly (aortic stenosis, AS). The valves can also close incompletely and allow blood to flow back into the heart (aortic regurgitation, AR).
AVD can lead to reduced blood flow. It is unclear if changes in blood pressure (BP) have any effect on AVD.
Methods & findings
This study included 27,120 patients with AS (20,680) or AR (6440). BP readings were obtained from medical records. Statistical analyses were used to measure the risk associated with BP and AS or AR. Systolic BP (SBP, the pressure of blood entering the heart) and diastolic BP (DBP, the pressure of blood leaving the heart) were the outcomes of interest.
For each 20 mmHg increase in SBP, there was a 41% increased risk of AS and a 38% increased risk of AR. Each 10 mmHg increase in DBP was associated with a 24% increased risk of AS but not AR. Pulse pressure (the difference between SBP and DBP) increases of 15mmHg led to a 46% greater risk of AS and a 53% greater risk of AR.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that increasing blood pressure was associated with an increased risk of AVD.
The fine print
This study shows that elevated BP is associated with AVD. It does not prove that elevated BP causes AVD. Monitoring aortic valve health may be important in patients with high BP.
If you have any concerns regarding BP management and AVD, please consult with your doctor.
Published By :
European Heart Journal
Sep 12, 2018