Blood pressure (BP) variability has been shown to be an independent risk factor of stroke and target organ damage because of hypertension, but so far, there have been very few studies investigating the impact of BP variability on cerebrovascular atherosclerosis.Methods
A total of 409 participants were enrolled and classified according to patterns of cerebrovascular atherosclerosis (i.e. large or small artery atherosclerosis; extracranial; or intracranial artery atherosclerosis). Coefficient of variation (CV) was used as a marker of BP variability. Multivariate binary logistical regression was used to analyze the associations between BP variability and the risk of different patterns of cerebrovascular atherosclerosis.Results
The risk of large artery atherosclerosis and extracranial arterial stenosis, respectively, had a dose-responsive positive relationship with the tertiles of awake systolic blood pressure (SBP) CVs [large artery atherosclerosis, the second tertile, adjusted odds ratio (OR)=2.839, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.593–5.059, P<0.001; the third tertile, adjusted OR=4.010, 95% CI 1.859–8.651, P<0.001; extracranial arterial stenosis, the second tertile, adjusted OR=2.274, 95% CI 1.189–4.348, P=0.013; the third tertile, adjusted OR=2.568, 95% CI 1.230–5.360, P=0.012, when referenced to the first tertile], but not with those of mean awake SBP. The third tertile of awake SBP CVs indicated a significantly higher risk of intracranial arterial stenosis (adjusted OR=2.253, 95% CI 1.118–4.538, P=0.023) and advanced intracranial arterial stenosis (adjusted OR=5.073, 95% CI 2.064–12.466, P<0.001) when referenced to the first tertile.Conclusion
In Chinese patients with acute atherosclerotic stroke, higher awake BP variability (measured in the subacute stage) might be associated with a higher risk of large artery atherosclerosis.