Heart failure (HF) is frequent in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM), and early detection improves prognosis. We investigated whether analysis of brachial blood pressure (BP) in daily practice can identify patients with DM and high risk for subsequent HF, as defined by brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) > 50 pg/ml.
3,367 Outpatients with DM without a history of cardiovascular disease were enrolled in a prospective study.
Age (mean±SD) was 56±14 years, 57% were male, 78% had type 2 DM and HbA1C was 7.4%±1.4%. A history of hypertension was recorded in 43% of patients and uncontrolled BP was observed in 13%. BNP concentration (mean±SD) was 21±21 ng/L and 9% of patients had high risk of incident HF. Brachial pulse pressure (PP) was the best BP parameter associated with high risk of incident HF compared to diastolic, systolic or mean BP (area under the ROC curve: 0.70, 0.65, 0.57 and 0.57 respectively). A multivariate analysis demonstrated that elevated PP was independently associated with high risk of incident HF (odds ratio [95%CI]: 2.1 [1.5-2.8] for PP ≥65mmHg). Study of central aortic BP and pulse wave velocity on 117 patients demonstrated that high risk of incident HF was associated with increased arterial stiffness and subendocardial ischemia. After a mean follow-up of 811days, elevated PP was associated with increased all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [95%CI]: 1.7 [1.1-2.8]).
Brachial PP is powerful and independent “easy to record” BP parameter associated with high risk of incident HF in diabetic patients.

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