24-Hour blood pressure profile in centenarians

Giovanni Bertinieri, Guido Grassi, Paolo Rossi, Anna Meloni, Maria Ciampa, Giorgio Annoni, Carlo Vergani, Giuseppe Mancia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Ambulatory blood pressure in the elderly has been studied in the past, the age range most frequently examined being 65 to 80 years. The present study was aimed at determining 24-h blood pressure means and profile in centennial human beings. Patients and methods: Sphygmomanometric blood pressure (average of three values) and 24-h ambulatory blood pressure measurements were performed in 16 centennial subjects (age 101.7 ± 0.4 years, mean ± SEM) and in 20 healthy normotensives aged 80.7 ± 1.1 years. All subjects were in good clinical and mental conditions for their age. They had no history, signs or symptoms of cardiovascular or non-cardiovascular diseases and were under no drug treatment. Results: In the centennial group sphygmomanometric blood pressure amounted to 131.2 ± 3.0/70.7 ± 2.2 mmHg (systolic/diastolic) and 24-h blood pressure and heart rate average values to 125.6 ± 3.4/64.8 ± 2.0 mmHg and 77.5 ± 4.3 bpm, respectively. Blood pressure and heart rate showed no difference between daytime and night-time values, i.e, night-time was accompanied by no blood pressure and heart rate fall. In contrast, in all subjects, a significant reduction in blood pressure was observed during the post-prandial period, with no significant heart rate changes. In the octogenarian group, sphygmomanometric and 24-h blood pressure averages were 146.6 ± 4.4/82.8 ± 2.2 and 131.8 ± 2.5/75.3 ± 1.6 mmHg, respectively, with a clearcut reduction in night-time as well as in post-prandial values. Conclusions: In centenarians 24-h blood pressure values are: (1) lower than sphygmomanometric blood pressures and (2) slightly less than in subjects aged 80 years. At variance with these subjects, however, in centenarians nocturnal hypotension and bradycardia are abolished, presumably because of a derangement in the central sleep influences on the cardiovascular system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1765-1769
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2002


  • Ageing
  • Blood pressure
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Monitoring ambulatory blood pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology


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