In the absence of malignant hypertension, the mechanisms for the decline in renal function in hypertensive patients are not well known. Several recent studies, essentially cross-sectional, point to a role for an increase in arterial stiffness and its corollary, the increased pulse pressure (PP), in barotrauma of the renal glomerulus.Methods
We examined relations between the PP measured on consultation or by 24-h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and the long-term decline in renal function in a population of essential hypertensive patients initially untreated, with normal renal function and without proteinuria. We evaluated the renal outcome of 375 patients of mean age 49 years in a baseline state over a mean follow-up period of 14 years.Results
At follow up, the glomerular filtration rate estimated from the modification of diet in renal disease formula was below 60 ml/min per 1.73 m2 in 51 of these patients, two of whom required dialysis. The blood pressure parameter best correlated with subsequent renal failure, independently of other factors of risk such as age or type 2 diabetes, was the PP measured either in consultation or by ambulatory blood pressure monitoring before starting treatment.Conclusion
The PP either measured on consultation or by ambulatory monitoring emerged as an independent determinant of the decline in renal functions in this population, pointing to the possibility of barotrauma of the glomeruli from increased arterial stiffness.