Treated hypertensive subjects may remain five times more likely to die of cardiac and cerebrovascular diseases than normotensive subjects with equivalent resting blood pressure (BP) levels. Research evidence suggests that exercise BP is a better predictor of end-organ damage and mortality than resting BP, and data from our centre show that a significant proportion of treated hypertensives have uncontrolled BP during a 5-min Dundee Step Test. The prognostic usefulness of exercise BP has yet to be translated into clinical practice because of the lack of a suitable technique. The Dundee Step Test is being evaluated in the ASCOT (Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcome Trial) study, a 5-year follow-up multicentre, multinational trial comparing the effect of newer (amlodipine and perindopril) and older (bendroflumethiazide and atenolol) antihypertensive agents stratified according to cholesterol levels on cardiac outcome. If the value of the Dundee Step Test is proven, then it may be adopted into routine clinical practice for the assessment of exercise BP. This may result in the improved management of hypertension with a subsequent reduction in morbidity and mortality. The publication of this study protocol is meant to be a statement of on-going research which may stimulate interest among those with an interest in this area of research.
- ASCOT study
- Dundee Step Test