Blood pressure reactions to the cold pressor test and the prediction of future blood pressure status: data from the Caerphilly study.
Carroll D., Davey Smith G., Sheffield D., Willemsen G., Sweetnam PM., Gallacher JE., Elwood PC.
The prognostic significance of the cold pressor test in hypertension remains a matter of controversy. Following determination at an initial screening session, blood pressure (BP) was recorded at baseline rest and in reaction to a cold pressor test. Follow-up screening BP was determined 5 years later. The effective sample was 1039 men, with an average age of 56.6 years at initial screening. Step-wise multiple regression indicated that BP reactions to the cold pressor test provided minimal independent prediction of follow-up BP over and above that afforded by BP at initial screening. In the case of follow-up systolic pressure, a model including only age and initial screening systolic BP (SBP) accounted for 38% of the variance; SBP reactions to the cold pressor did not enter the regression equation. In the case of follow-up diastolic BP (DBP), diastolic pressure at initial screening accounted for 21% of the variance, and while DBP reaction to the cold pressor test entered the equation, it accounted for only an additional 1% of the variance. These results suggest that the cold pressor test may be of limited clinical use in older populations.