Evidence to Maintain the Systolic Blood Pressure Treatment Threshold at 140 mm Hg for Stroke Prevention
The Northern Manhattan Study
In 2014, the Eighth Joint National Committee revised the target maximum systolic blood pressure (SBP) from 140 to 150 mm Hg in patients aged ≥60 years without diabetes mellitus or chronic kidney disease. The evidence from cohort studies supporting this change was sparse, particularly among US minority populations. In the Northern Manhattan Study, 1750 participants aged ≥60 years and free of stroke, diabetes mellitus, and chronic kidney disease had SBP measured at baseline and were annually followed up for incident stroke. Mean age at baseline was 72±8 years, 63% were women, 48% Hispanic, 25% non-Hispanic white, and 25% non-Hispanic black. Among all participants, 40% were on antihypertensive medications; 43% had SBP <140 mm Hg, 20% had 140 to 149 mm Hg, and 37% had ≥150 mm Hg. Over a median follow-up of 13 years, 182 participants developed stroke. The crude stroke incidence was greater among individuals with SBP≥150 mm Hg (10.8 per 1000 person-years) and SBP 140 to 149 (12.3) than among those with SBP<140 (6.2). After adjusting for demographics, vascular risk factors, diastolic BP, and medication use, participants with SBP 140 to 149 mm Hg had an increased risk of stroke (hazard ratio, 1.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.2–2.6) compared with those with SBP <140 mm Hg. The increased stroke risk was most notable among Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks. Raising the SBP threshold from 140 to 150 mm Hg as a new target for hypertension treatment in older individuals without diabetes mellitus or chronic kidney disease could have a detrimental effect on stroke risk reduction, especially among minority US populations.
- Received November 25, 2015.
- Revision received December 8, 2015.
- Accepted December 13, 2015.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.