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...