Men in the study with systolic blood pressure (BP) levels of 140 mmHg or higher and diastolic BP below 90 had a 28% increased risk for death from coronary heart disease compared with men with normal BP (hazard ratio 1.28, 95% CI 1.04-1.58), reported Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, MD, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
In addition, women with isolated systolic hypertension (ISH) had a more than twofold greater death risk (HR 2.12, 95% CI 1.49-3.01) than women with optimal BP, they wrote in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
The findings provide strong evidence that ISH is a clinically meaningful condition in young and middle-age adults and not just pseudo or ‘white-coat’ hypertension, Lloyd-Jones told MedPage Today.
“It is not well supported by science, but there has been a belief by many that elevated systolic and not diastolic blood pressure in younger adults is benign,” he said. “Most previous research hasn’t really examined hypertension by subtype. That’s why we did this study.”
ISH is defined as a systolic BP of 140 mmHg or greater with a diastolic BP of less than 90 mmHg. It is common in the elderly, but relatively uncommon in younger and middle-age adults, the researchers wrote.
NHANES data suggest that the overall prevalence of ISH among adults in their 20s and 30s has more than doubled in recent decades, from 0.7% between 1988 and 1994 to 1.6% between 1999 and 2004, but there is still a great deal of uncertainty about the clinical consequences of ISH in younger adults.
Source: MedPage Today