CME: Systolic Hypertension & Cardiovascular Mortality

CME: Systolic Hypertension & Cardiovascular Mortality

Studies have shown that isolated systolic hypertension (ISH)—defined as having a systolic blood pressure (BP) of 140 mm Hg or higher with a diastolic BP less than 90 mm Hg—is associated with elevated risks for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in older adults. “There has been a sense among clinicians that ISH is a benign condition in younger people,” explains Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, MD, ScM. “This had led some experts to label ISH as pseudo-hypertension, but the data to support this belief are limited.”   A Look at Younger Patients Few studies have looked at ISH in younger patients, despite research suggesting that its prevalence has increased in younger and middle-aged adults in recent years. For a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Lloyd-Jones and colleagues assessed the risk for CVD in 27,000 patients aged 18 to 49 who did not have diagnosed coronary heart disease and were not taking antihypertensive therapy when they were assessed at baseline. Participants in the study were classified into one of the following groups: Optimal-normal BP (systolic BP <130 mm Hg, diastolic BP <85 mm Hg). High-normal BP (systolic BP 130 to 139, diastolic BP 85 to 89 mm Hg). ISH. Isolated diastolic hypertension (systolic BP <140 mm Hg, diastolic BP ≥90 mm Hg). Systolic and diastolic hypertension (systolic BP ≥140 mm Hg, diastolic BP ≥90 mm Hg). With access to the Chicago Heart Association Study database and linkage to the National Death Index, the study team was able to assess follow-up data on the cause of death among participants as well as 35-year outcomes, with an average follow-up...
Systolic Hypertension & Cardiovascular Mortality

Systolic Hypertension & Cardiovascular Mortality

Studies have shown that isolated systolic hypertension (ISH)—defined as having a systolic blood pressure (BP) of 140 mm Hg or higher with a diastolic BP less than 90 mm Hg—is associated with elevated risks for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in older adults. “There has been a sense among clinicians that ISH is a benign condition in younger people,” explains Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, MD, ScM. “This had led some experts to label ISH as pseudo-hypertension, but the data to support this belief are limited.”   A Look at Younger Patients Few studies have looked at ISH in younger patients, despite research suggesting that its prevalence has increased in younger and middle-aged adults in recent years. For a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Lloyd-Jones and colleagues assessed the risk for CVD in 27,000 patients aged 18 to 49 who did not have diagnosed coronary heart disease and were not taking antihypertensive therapy when they were assessed at baseline. Participants in the study were classified into one of the following groups: Optimal-normal BP (systolic BP <130 mm Hg, diastolic BP <85 mm Hg). High-normal BP (systolic BP 130 to 139, diastolic BP 85 to 89 mm Hg). ISH. Isolated diastolic hypertension (systolic BP <140 mm Hg, diastolic BP ≥90 mm Hg). Systolic and diastolic hypertension (systolic BP ≥140 mm Hg, diastolic BP ≥90 mm Hg). With access to the Chicago Heart Association Study database and linkage to the National Death Index, the study team was able to assess follow-up data on the cause of death among participants as well as 35-year outcomes, with an average follow-up...
CME: Treatment-Resistant Hypertension: Assessing Predictors & Outcomes

CME: Treatment-Resistant Hypertension: Assessing Predictors & Outcomes

“The topic of treatment-resistant HTN has gained attention in recent years,” says Rhonda M. Cooper-DeHoff, PharmD, MS, FAHA, FACC. “The condition increases long-term risk for poor outcomes, regardless of whether or not HTN is controlled or uncontrolled. Unfortunately, we’re lacking important data on the long-term effects of treatment-resistant HTN.” Coronary artery disease (CAD) is among the leading causes of mortality, and treatment-resistant HTN is more common in patients with CAD than without CAD. Little is known, however, about the impact that treatment-resistant HTN has on cardiovascular outcomes in patients with CAD. Such data may inform clinicians on strategies to aggressively manage risk factors. Identifying Predictors & Impact In the Journal of Hypertension, Dr. Cooper-DeHoff and colleagues published a study that described the prevalence, predictors, and impact on adverse cardiovascular outcomes of resistant HTN among patients with CAD and HTN. More than 17,000 study participants were divided into three groups according to achieved BP: 1) controlled (BP<140/90 mm Hg on three or fewer drugs); 2) uncontrolled (BP≥140/90 mm Hg on two or fewer drugs); or 3) resistant (BP≥140/90 mm Hg on three drugs or any patient on at least four drugs). “We found that resistant HTN occurred in 38% of patients with CAD and HTN,” says Dr. Cooper-DeHoff. “Those with resistant HTN were at increased risk for having poorer outcomes.” Several characteristics were associated with an increased risk of resistant HTN, including a history of heart failure, diabetes, and renal insufficiency, among others (Figure 1). Overall, 13 independent predictors of resistant HTN were identified. Many of these characteristics can be obtained noninvasively and help clinicians recognize these patients in the clinic. “The prevalence...
Renal Artery Stenting: Coming to a Consensus

Renal Artery Stenting: Coming to a Consensus

Renal artery stenosis (RAS)—narrowing of the renal arteries—is often asymptomatic, but studies show that it may lead to hypertension or worsening of blood pressure (BP) control. If left untreated, RAS can cause kidney failure and heart failure. “Optimal medical therapy is the preferred first-line treatment, but many patients who fail medical therapy may benefit from angioplasty and stenting,” explains Sahil A. Parikh, MD, FACC, FSCAI. “These treatments help to reduce the clinical consequences of RAS.” Studies show that more than 90% of RAS cases result from atherosclerosis, yet there is still debate among experts on the role of medical therapy versus revascularization. Renal artery stenting has emerged as an important primary revascularization strategy in most patients with atherosclerotic RAS. Stenting has become the preferred endovascular technique to manage RAS, with recent studies showing such procedures improve systolic and diastolic BP with excellent safety profiles. However, many of these analyses have non-randomized trial designs, and others excluded some patients who may benefit from renal stenting when randomized trials were conducted. The clinical data have resulted in less widespread acceptance of the benefits of renal artery stenting. New Guidance on Renal Artery Stenting In 2014, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) released a new expert consensus statement for the appropriate use of renal artery stenting. The document, which was based on an expert panel review of scientific data, was developed to help guide physicians in applying renal stenting. SCAI also highlights the current limitations in the peer-reviewed literature and identifies opportunities to advance the field. The consensus statement offers clinicians measures to assess the significance of RAS (Table 1)...
Treatment-Resistant Hypertension: Assessing Predictors & Outcomes

Treatment-Resistant Hypertension: Assessing Predictors & Outcomes

Treatment-resistant hypertension (HTN) has been defined in various ways in clinical research. Some definitions go so far as to say which medications should be used before classifying patients as having resistant HTN. Regardless of the definition, the overriding theme of treatment-resistant HTN is that it occurs when several anti-hypertensive drugs are needed to control blood pressure (BP). Studies suggest that treatment-resistant HTN is present in 20% to 30% of patients with HTN. Its prevalence has more than doubled over the past 25 years, and research has linked it to an increased risk of cardiovascular events when compared with patients without treatment-resistant HTN. “The topic of treatment-resistant HTN has gained attention in recent years,” says Rhonda M. Cooper-DeHoff, PharmD, MS, FAHA, FACC. “The condition increases long-term risk for poor outcomes, regardless of whether or not HTN is controlled or uncontrolled. Unfortunately, we’re lacking important data on the long-term effects of treatment-resistant HTN.” Coronary artery disease (CAD) is among the leading causes of mortality, and treatment-resistant HTN is more common in patients with CAD than without CAD. Little is known, however, about the impact that treatment-resistant HTN has on cardiovascular outcomes in patients with CAD. Such data may inform clinicians on strategies to aggressively manage risk factors. Identifying Predictors & Impact In the Journal of Hypertension, Dr. Cooper-DeHoff and colleagues published a study that described the prevalence, predictors, and impact on adverse cardiovascular outcomes of resistant HTN among patients with CAD and HTN. More than 17,000 study participants were divided into three groups according to achieved BP: 1) controlled (BP<140/90 mm Hg on three or fewer drugs); 2) uncontrolled (BP≥140/90 mm Hg on...
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