Incidence of cardiovascular disease in individuals affected by recent changes to US blood pressure treatment guidelines

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Abstract

Objective:

We evaluated the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in individuals whose blood pressure (BP) management strategy would change with adoption of recent US hypertension guidelines in two large, community-based cohorts with different racial and geographic compositions: the Framingham and Jackson Heart Studies (FHS and JHS).

Methods:

We assigned 11 237 FHS (mean age 46, 53% women) and 2948 JHS (mean age 55, 69% women) participants free of CVD and chronic kidney disease to one of five categories representing different treatment recommendations between 2014 Evidence-Based Guidelines for the Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults: Report from the Panel Members Appointed to the Eighth Joint National Committee and The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure guidelines. Absolute incidence rates (incidence rate; per 1000 person-years) and multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios were calculated for each group; cohort-specific results were combined using fixed effect meta-analysis.

Results:

CVD events occurred in 1047 FHS and 230 JHS participants during mean follow-up times of 11 and 8.9 years, respectively. Compared with individuals without hypertension, those with BP 140–149/<90 mmHg had increased risk for CVD regardless of treatment status [hazard ratio for untreated BP 140–149/<90 mmHg 1.96, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.40–2.75; hazard ratio for treated BP 140–149/<90 mmHg 3.37, 95% CI 2.37–4.78]. The risk for those with treated BP 140–149/<90 mmHg was consistent in those aged at least 60 years (hazard ratio: 2.61, 95% CI 1.75–3.90). Statistical power was limited to evaluate the effect of diabetes.

Conclusion:

Individuals with treated BP 140–149/<90 mmHg have increased risk of CVD compared with those without hypertension including in participants at least 60 years. The 2014 Evidence-Based Guidelines for the Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults: Report from the Panel Members Appointed to the Eighth Joint National Committee recommendations to treat BP levels less aggressively may be associated with substantial residual CVD risk.

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