Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressure, Incident Cardiovascular Events, and Death in Elderly Persons
The Role of Functional Limitation in the Cardiovascular Health Study
Whether limitation in the ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL) or gait speed can identify elders in whom the association of systolic and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) with cardiovascular events (CVDs) and death differs is unclear. We evaluated whether limitation in ADL or gait speed modifies the association of systolic blood pressure or DBP with incident CVD (n=2358) and death (n=3547) in the Cardiovascular Health Study. Mean age was 78±5 and 21% reported limitation in ≥1 ADL. There were 778 CVD and 1289 deaths over 9 years. Among persons without and those with ADL limitation, systolic blood pressure was associated with incident CVD: hazard ratio [HR] (per 10-mm Hg increase) 1.08 (95% confidence interval, 1.03, 1.13) and 1.06 (0.97, 1.17), respectively. ADL modified the association of DBP with incident CVD. Among those without ADL limitation, DBP was weakly associated with incident CVD, HR 1.04 (0.79, 1.37) for DBP >80, compared with <65 mm Hg. Among those with ADL limitation, DBP was inversely associated with CVD: HR 0.65 (0.44, 0.96) for DBP 66 to 80 mm Hg and HR 0.49 (0.25, 0.94) for DBP >80, compared with DBP ≤65. Among people with ADL limitation, a DBP of 66 to 80 had the lowest risk of death, HR 0.72 (0.57, 0.91), compared with a DBP of ≤65. Associations did not vary by 15-feet walking speed. ADL can identify elders in whom diastolic hypotension is associated with higher cardiovascular risk and death. Functional status, rather than chronologic age alone, should inform design of hypertension trials in elders.
- Received May 1, 2014.
- Revision received May 6, 2014.
- Accepted May 14, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.