Systolic Blood Pressure Levels Among Adults With Hypertension and Incident Cardiovascular Events

JAMA: August 2014

Importance  Studies document a progressive increase in heart disease risk as systolic blood pressure (SBP) rises above 115 mm Hg, but it is unknown whether an SBP lower than 120 mm Hg among adults with hypertension (HTN) lowers heart failure, stroke, and myocardial infarction risk.

Objective  To examine the risk of incident cardiovascular (CV) events among adults with HTN according to 3 SBP levels: 140 mm Hg or higher; 120 to 139 mm Hg; and a reference level of lower than 120 mm Hg.

Design, Setting, and Participants  A total of 4480 participants with HTN but without prevalent CV disease at baseline (years 1987-1989) from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study were included. Measurements of SBP were taken at baseline and at 3 triennial visits; SBP was treated as a time-dependent variable and categorized as elevated (≥140 mm Hg), standard (120-139 mm Hg), and low (<120 mm Hg). Multivariable Cox regression models included baseline age, sex, diabetes status, BMI, high cholesterol level, smoking status, and alcohol intake. Read More