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Exactly how hypertension causes end organ damage and vascular events is poorly understood. Yet the concept that underlying "usual" blood pressure (BP) accounts for all BP-related risk of vascular events and for the benefits of BP-lowering drugs has come to underpin clinical guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension. This article reviews evidence that variability in BP also predicts risk of stroke and other vascular events independently of mean BP and evidence that drug-class effects on variability in BP explain differences in the effectiveness of BP-lowering drugs in preventing stroke.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Hypertens Rep

Publication Date





177 - 186


Antihypertensive Agents, Blood Pressure, Humans, Hypertension, Prognosis, Risk Factors, Stroke, Systole