Nonspecific ST-T changes associated with unsatisfactory blood pressure control among adults with hypertension in China: Evidence from the CSPPT study

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Nonspecific ST-segment and T-wave (ST-T) changes represent one of the most prevalent electrocardiographic abnormalities in hypertensive patients. However, a limited number of studies have investigated the association between nonspecific ST-T changes and unsatisfactory blood pressure (BP) control in adults with hypertension.

The study population comprised 15,038 hypertensive patients, who were selected from 20,702 participants in the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial. The subjects were examined with electrocardiogram test at the initial visit in order to monitor baseline heart activity. According to the results of the electrocardiogram (defined by Minnesota coding), the subjects were divided into 2 groups: ST-T abnormal and ST-T normal. Unsatisfactory BP control was defined as systolic BP ≥140 mm Hg or diastolic BP ≥90 mm Hg following antihypertensive treatment during the 4.5-year follow-up period. Multivariate analysis was used to analyze the association between nonspecific ST-T abnormalities and unsatisfactory BP control.

Nonspecific ST-T changes were common in hypertensive adults (approximately 8.5% in the study), and more prevalent in women (10.3%) and diabetic patients (13.9%). The unsatisfactory BP control rate was high in the total population (47.0%), notably in the ST-T abnormal group (55.5%). The nonspecific ST-T abnormal group exhibited a significantly greater rate of unsatisfactory BP control (odds ratio [OR] 1.20, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.06, 1.36], P = 0.005]), independent of traditional risk factors, as demonstrated by multivariate regression analysis. Notable differences were further observed in male subjects (OR 1.51, 95% CI [1.17, 1.94], P = 0.002) and in patients with comorbid diabetes (OR 1.47, 95% CI [1.04, 2.07], P = 0.029).

Greater rates of unsatisfactory BP control in hypertensive patients with electrocardiographic nonspecific ST-T abnormalities were observed, notably in the subcategories of the male subjects and the diabetic patients.

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