Publication Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Academic Program

Master of Science in Clinical Investigation


Emergency Medicine

First Thesis Advisor

Boudreaux, Edwin


Blood Pressure, Heart Failure


Theses, UMMS; Blood Pressure; Heart Failure


Background: The initial systolic blood pressure (SBP) in patients with acute heart failure (AHF) can be used as a guide when choosing specific pharmacologic treatments by helping identify the underlying type of HF (e.g., HF with preserved ejection fraction). Clinical experience and research data from our medical center suggests that AHF with elevated SBP may be presenting less frequently than in the past. This may call into question the utility of initial SBP as a clinical guide. The goal of this Master’s Thesis is to test the hypothesis that the frequency of AHF patients with a SBP>160mmhg has declined over time.

Methods: This observational study compares data from 4 cohorts of adult patients admitted with AHF in central MA. Data were obtained from a contemporary (2011-2013) study of patients with AHF as well as from the 1995, 2000, 2006 Worcester Heart Failure Study (WHFS) cohorts. The Framingham criteria the diagnostic criterion for AHF. The main outcome was the proportion of patients with AHF with a SBP > 160 mmHg who presented in each of the 4 study cohorts and was examined by multivariate logistic regression.

Results: 2,366 patients comprised the study population. The average age was 77 years, 55% were female, 94% white, and 75% had prior HF. In 1995 33.6% of AHF patients had a SBP >160 mmHg compared to 19.5% in 2011-2013 (p160 mmHg in 2006 (0.64, (0.42-0.96)) and 2011-13 (0.46, (0.28-0.74)).

Conclusion: The proportion of patients with AHF and an initial SBP >160 mmHg has significantly declined over time. This may warrant a reexamination of the utility of SBP to inform diagnosis and treatment in patients with AHF.



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