Visit-to-visit systolic blood pressure variability and microvascular complications among patients with diabetes

Min Woong Sohn, Noam Epstein, Elbert S. Huang, Zhiping Huo, Nicholas Emanuele, George Stukenborg, Marylou Guihan, Junping Li, Elly Budiman-Mak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Aims To examine the relationship between systolic blood pressure (SBP) variability and the risk of microvascular complications in a non-elderly diabetic population. Methods This is a retrospective cohort study of individuals aged ≤ 60 years treated for diabetes in 2003 in the US Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system. Individuals were followed for five years for any new diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy, retinopathy, or neuropathy. In each year of follow-up, individuals were classified into quartiles based on their SBP variability. Results We identified 208,338 patients with diabetes without diabetic nephropathy, retinopathy, or neuropathy at baseline. Compared to individuals with the least SBP variability (Quartile 1), those with most variability (Quartile 4) had 81% (OR = 1.81; 95% CI, 1.72–1.91), 17% (OR = 1.17; 95% CI, 1.13–1.21), 30% (OR = 1.30; 95% CI, 1.25–1.35), and 19% (OR = 1.19; 95% CI, 1.15–1.23) higher incidence of nephropathy, retinopathy, neuropathy, and any complication, respectively, after adjusting for mean SBP, demographic and clinical factors. Conclusions We found a significant graded relationship between SBP variability and the incidence of each complication and of any combined endpoint. This is the first study showing a significant association between SBP variability and the risk of diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-201
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Diabetes and its Complications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.


  • Blood pressure variability
  • Microvascular complications
  • Nephropathy
  • Neuropathy
  • Retinopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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