Does Low Diastolic Blood Pressure Contribute to the Risk of Recurrent Hypertensive Cardiovascular Disease Events?
The Framingham Heart Study
Whether low diastolic blood pressure (DBP) is a risk factor for recurrent cardiovascular disease (CVD) events in persons with isolated systolic hypertension is controversial. We studied 791 individuals (mean age 75 years, 47% female, mean follow-up time: 8±6 years) with DBP <70 (n=225) versus 70 to 89 mm Hg (n=566) after initial CVD events in the original and offspring cohorts of the Framingham Heart Study. Recurrent CVD events occurred in 153 (68%) participants with lower DBP and 271 (48%) with higher DBP (P<0.0001). Risk of recurrent CVD events in risk factor-adjusted Cox regression was higher in those with DBP <70 mm Hg versus DBP 70 to 89 mm Hg in both treated (hazard ratio, 5.1 [95% confidence interval: 3.8–6.9] P<0.0001) and untreated individuals (hazard ratio, 11.7 [95% confidence interval: 6.5–21.1] P<0.0001; treatment interaction: P=0.71). Individually, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and stroke recurrent events were more likely with DBP <70 mm Hg versus 70 to 89 mm Hg (P<0.0001). To examine for an effect of wide pulse pressure on excess risk associated with low DBP, we defined 4 binary groupings of pulse pressure (≥68 versus <68 mm Hg) and DBP (<70 versus 70–89 mm Hg). CVD incidence rates were higher only in the group with pulse pressure ≥68 and DBP <70 mm Hg (76% versus 46%–54%; P<0.001). Persons with isolated systolic hypertension and prior CVD events have increased risk for recurrent CVD events in the presence of DBP <70 mm Hg versus DBP 70 to 89 mm Hg, whether treated or untreated, supporting wide pulse pressure as an important risk modifier for the adverse effect of low DBP.
- Received September 10, 2014.
- Revision received September 21, 2014.
- Accepted October 22, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.