In what is being called the first study of its kind,researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have linkedblood pressure (BP) reactivity and coronary artery calcification(CAC). The authors of the study noted a longstandinghypothesis that patients who are prone to frequent,large increases in BP during psychological stress are atrisk for developing coronary atherosclerosis. Based onthis hypothesis, the researchers studied 2816 women,both Caucasian and African American, aged 20 to 35years, who were not taking any medicines to treat eitherdiabetes or hypertension. The researchers tried to linkBP activity and CAC in these patients. They calculatedthat, for every 10-mm Hg rise of BP in the reactivity testat baseline, a 24% increased risk of CAC was observed13 years later.
Based upon these findings, the researchers suggest that"BP reactivity protocols should be added to the future epidemiologicalprotocols to?evaluate the role of BP reactivityin coronary atheroclerosis." The findings were publishedin the March 2006 edition of Hypertension.