INTRODUCTION: Individual cohort studies in various populations and study-level meta-analyses have shown interarm differences (IAD) in blood pressure to be associated with increased cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. However, key questions remain, such as follows: (1) What is the additional contribution of IAD to prognostic risk estimation for cardiovascular and all-cause mortality? (2) What is the minimum cut-off value for IAD that defines elevated risk? (3) Is there a prognostic value of IAD and do different methods of IAD measurement impact on the prognostic value of IAD? We aim to address these questions by conducting an individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This study will identify prospective cohort studies that measured blood pressure in both arms during recruitment, and invite authors to contribute IPD datasets to this collaboration. All patient data received will be combined into a single dataset. Using one-stage meta-analysis, we will undertake multivariable time-to-event regression modelling, with the aim of developing a new prognostic model for cardiovascular risk estimation that includes IAD. We will explore variations in risk contribution of IAD across predefined population subgroups (eg, hypertensives, diabetics), establish the lower limit of IAD that is associated with additional cardiovascular risk and assess the impact of different methods of IAD measurement on risk prediction. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study will not include any patient identifiable data. Included datasets will already have ethical approval and consent from their sponsors. Findings will be presented to international conferences and published in peer reviewed journals, and we have a comprehensive dissemination strategy in place with integrated patient and public involvement. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42015031227.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open

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Hypertension, Ischaemic heart disease, PRIMARY CARE, STROKE MEDICINE, VASCULAR MEDICINE