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1.  Retinal vessel diameters and risk of hypertension: the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Journal of hypertension  2009;27(12):2386-2393.
Objective
To describe the prospective relationship of retinal vessel diameters with risk of hypertension in a multiethnic population-based cohort.
Methods
The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis is a population-based study of subclinical cardiovascular disease among white, African–American, Hispanic, and Chinese American adults aged 45–84 years. Retinal vessel diameters were measured using a standardized imaging software at the second examination (considered baseline in this analysis) and summarized as the central retinal artery/vein equivalent. Presence of retinopathy and retinal focal arteriolar narrowing and arteriovenous nicking was assessed by trained graders. Incidence of hypertension was defined among participants at risk as systolic blood pressure at least 140 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure at least 90 mmHg, or use of an antihypertensive medication.
Results
Of the initial 6237 participants at baseline, 2583 were at risk of hypertension. After 3.2±0.5 years of follow-up, 448 (17.3%) participants developed hypertension. After adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, the average of mean arterial blood pressure in the first and second examination, and other vascular risk factors, persons with narrower retinal arteriolar diameter and wider venular diameter at baseline were more likely to develop hypertension [odds ratio per SD decrease in central retinal artery equivalent 1.20, 95% confidence intervals 1.02, 1.42; and odds ratio per SD increase in central retinal vein equivalent 1.18, 95% confidence interval 1.02, 1.37]. Persons with focal arteriolar narrowing were also more likely to develop hypertension (odds ratio 1.80, 95% confidence interval 1.09, 2.97).
Conclusion
Findings from this multiethnic population confirm that narrower retinal arteriolar diameter and wider venular diameter are associated with the development of hypertension independent of traditional risk factors.
doi:10.1097/HJH.0b013e3283310f7e
PMCID: PMC2935621  PMID: 19680136
hypertension; microcirculation; retinal vessel diameter; retinopathy; the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis
2.  Alcohol Intake and Blood Pressure: A Systematic Review Implementing a Mendelian Randomization Approach 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(3):e52.
Background
Alcohol has been reported to be a common and modifiable risk factor for hypertension. However, observational studies are subject to confounding by other behavioural and sociodemographic factors, while clinical trials are difficult to implement and have limited follow-up time. Mendelian randomization can provide robust evidence on the nature of this association by use of a common polymorphism in aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) as a surrogate for measuring alcohol consumption. ALDH2 encodes a major enzyme involved in alcohol metabolism. Individuals homozygous for the null variant (*2*2) experience adverse symptoms when drinking alcohol and consequently drink considerably less alcohol than wild-type homozygotes (*1*1) or heterozygotes. We hypothesise that this polymorphism may influence the risk of hypertension by affecting alcohol drinking behaviour.
Methods and Findings
We carried out fixed effect meta-analyses of the ALDH2 genotype with blood pressure (five studies, n = 7,658) and hypertension (three studies, n = 4,219) using studies identified via systematic review. In males, we obtained an overall odds ratio of 2.42 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.66–3.55, p = 4.8 × 10−6) for hypertension comparing *1*1 with *2*2 homozygotes and an odds ratio of 1.72 (95% CI 1.17–2.52, p = 0.006) comparing heterozygotes (surrogate for moderate drinkers) with *2*2 homozygotes. Systolic blood pressure was 7.44 mmHg (95% CI 5.39–9.49, p = 1.1 × 10−12) greater among *1*1 than among *2*2 homozygotes, and 4.24 mmHg (95% CI 2.18–6.31, p = 0.00005) greater among heterozygotes than among *2*2 homozygotes.
Conclusions
These findings support the hypothesis that alcohol intake has a marked effect on blood pressure and the risk of hypertension.
Using a mendelian randomization approach Sarah Lewis and colleagues find strong support for the hypothesis that alcohol intake has a marked effect on blood pressure and the risk of hypertension.
Editors' Summary
Background.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common medical condition that affects nearly a third of US and UK adults. Hypertension has no symptoms but can lead to heart attacks or strokes. It is diagnosed by measuring blood pressure—the force that blood moving around the body exerts on the inside of large blood vessels. Blood pressure is highest when the heart is pumping out blood (systolic pressure) and lowest when it is filling up with blood (diastolic pressure). Normal blood pressure is defined as a systolic pressure of less than 130 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and a diastolic pressure of less than 85 mmHg (a blood pressure of 130/85). A reading of more than 140/90 indicates hypertension. Many factors affect blood pressure, but overweight people and individuals who eat too much salty or fatty foods are at high risk of developing hypertension. Mild hypertension can often be corrected by lifestyle changes, but many people also take antihypertensive drugs to reduce their blood pressure.
Why Was This Study Done?
Another modifiable lifestyle factor thought to affect blood pressure is alcohol intake. Observational studies that ask people about their drinking habits and measure their blood pressure suggest that alcohol intake correlates with blood pressure, but they cannot prove a causal link because of “confounding”—other risk factors associated with alcohol drinking, such as diet, might also affect the study participant's blood pressures. A trial that randomly assigns people to different alcohol intakes could provide this proof of causality, but such a trial is impractical. In this study, therefore, the researchers have used “Mendelian randomization” to investigate whether alcohol intake affects blood pressure. An inactive variant of aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2; the enzyme that removes alcohol from the body) has been identified. People who inherit the variant form of this gene from both parents have an ALDH2 *2*2 genotype (genetic makeup) and become flushed and nauseated after drinking. Consequently, they drink less than people with a *1*2 genotype and much less than those with a *1*1 genotype. Because inheritance of these genetic variants does not affect lifestyle factors other than alcohol intake, an association between ALDH2 genotypes and blood pressure would indicate that alcohol intake has an effect on blood pressure without any confounding.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified ten published studies (mainly done in Japan where the ALDH2 gene variant is common) on associations between ALDH2 genotype and blood pressure or hypertension using a detailed search protocol (a “systematic review”). A meta-analysis (a statistical method for combining the results of independent studies) of the studies that had investigated the association between ALDH2 genotype and hypertension showed that men with the *1*1 genotype (highest alcohol intake) and those with the *1*2 genotype (intermediate alcohol intake) were 2.42 and 1.72 times more likely, respectively, to have hypertension than those with the *2*2 genotype (lowest alcohol intake). There was no association between ALDH2 genotype and hypertension among the women in these studies because they drank very little. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures showed a similar relationship to ALDH2 genotype in a second meta-analysis of relevant studies. Finally, the researchers estimated that for men the lifetime effect of drinking 1 g of alcohol a day (one unit of alcohol contains 8 g of alcohol in the UK and 14 g in the US; recommended daily limits in these countries are 3–4 and 1–2 units, respectively) would be an increase in systolic blood pressure of 0.24 mmHg.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings support the suggestion that alcohol has a marked effect on blood pressure and hypertension. Consequently, some cases of hypertension could be prevented by encouraging people to reduce their daily alcohol intake. Although the Mendelian randomization approach avoids most of the confounding intrinsic to observational studies, it is possible that a gene near ALDH2 that has no effect on alcohol intake affects blood pressure, since genes are often inherited in blocks. Alternatively, ALDH2 could affect blood pressure independent of alcohol intake. The possibility that ALDH2 could effect blood pressure independently of alcohol is intake made unlikely by the fact that no effect of genotype on blood pressure is seen among women who drink very little. Additional large-scale studies are needed to address these possibilities, to confirm the current finding in more people, and to improve the estimates of the effect that alcohol intake has on blood pressure.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050052.
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has a page on hypertension (in English and Spanish)
The American Heart Association provides information for patients and health professionals about hypertension
The UK Blood Pressure Association provides information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of hypertension, including information about alcohol affects blood pressure
The Explore@Bristol science center (a UK charity) provides an alcohol unit calculator and information on the effects of alcohol
The International Center for Alcohol Policies provides drinking guidelines for countries around the world
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050052
PMCID: PMC2265305  PMID: 18318597
3.  Dietary phosphorus, blood pressure and incidence of hypertension in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
Hypertension  2010;55(3):776-784.
Greater phosphorus intake has been associated with lower levels of blood pressure in cross-sectional studies. This association, however, has not been assessed prospectively. We studied 13444 participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities cohort and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, with diet assessed at baseline using validated food frequency questionnaires. Blood pressure and use of antihypertensive medication were determined at baseline and during follow-up visits. Compared to individuals in the lowest quintile of phosphorus intake at baseline, those in the highest quintile had lower baseline systolic and diastolic blood pressure after adjustment for dietary and non-dietary confounders (−2.0 mmHg, 95% confidence interval −3.6, −0.5; p for trend=0.01; and −0.6, 95% confidence interval −1.6, +0.3, p for trend=0.20, respectively). During an average 6.2 years of follow-up, 3345 cases of hypertension were identified. Phosphorus intake was associated with the risk of hypertension (hazard ratio 0.80, 95% confidence interval 0.80-1.00, comparing extreme quintiles; p for trend=0.02) after adjustment for non-dietary factors, but not after additional adjustment for dietary variables (hazard ratio 1.01, 95% confidence interval 0.82-1.23, p for trend=0.88). Phosphorus from dairy products but not from other sources was associated with lower baseline blood pressure and reduced risk of incident hypertension. Hazard ratios (95% confidence interval) comparing extreme quintiles were 0.86 (0.76-0.97), p for trend=0.01, for phosphorus from dairy foods and 1.04 (0.93-1.17), p for trend=0.48, for phosphorus from other foods. These findings could indicate an effect of phosphorus in conjunction with other dairy constituents or of dairy itself without involvement of phosphorus.
doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.109.143461
PMCID: PMC2825283  PMID: 20083730
Phosphorus; Cohort; Dairy product; Epidemiology; Blood pressure; Hypertension
4.  Glucose, Insulin, and Incident Hypertension in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2010;172(10):1144-1154.
Diabetes mellitus and hypertension commonly coexist, but the nature of this link is not well understood. The authors tested whether diabetes and higher concentrations of fasting serum glucose and insulin are associated with increased risk of developing incident hypertension in the community-based Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. At baseline, 3,513 participants were free of hypertension, defined as systolic blood pressure ≥140 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mm Hg, or use of antihypertensive medications to treat high blood pressure. Of these, 965 participants (27%) developed incident hypertension over 4.7 years’ median follow-up between 2002 and 2007. Compared with participants with normal baseline fasting glucose, those with impaired fasting glucose and diabetes had adjusted relative risks of hypertension of 1.16 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.96, 1.40) and 1.41 (95% CI: 1.17, 1.71), respectively (P = 0.0015). The adjusted relative risk of incident hypertension was 1.08 (95% CI: 1.04, 1.13) for each mmol/L higher glucose (P < 0.0001) and 1.15 (95% CI: 1.05, 1.25) for each doubling of insulin (P = 0.0016). Further adjustment for serum cystatin C, urinary albumin/creatinine ratio, and arterial elasticity measured by tonometry substantially reduced the magnitudes of these associations. In conclusion, diabetes and higher concentrations of glucose and insulin may contribute to the development of hypertension, in part through kidney disease and arterial stiffness.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwq266
PMCID: PMC3004765  PMID: 20961972
diabetes mellitus; glucose; hypertension; insulin; kidney; nephrology
5.  Ethnic Differences in Hypertension Incidence among Middle-Aged and Older U. S. Adults: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Hypertension  2011;57(6):1101-1107.
The prevalence of hypertension is higher among African-Americans than whites. However, inconsistent findings have been reported on the incidence of hypertension among middle-aged and older African-Americans and whites and limited data are available on the incidence of hypertension among Hispanics and Asians in the US. Therefore, this study investigated the age-specific incidence of hypertension by ethnicity for 3,146 participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Participants, age 45–84 years at baseline, were followed for a median of 4.8 years for incident hypertension, defined as systolic blood pressure ≥ 140 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure ≥ 90 mmHg, or the initiation of antihypertensive medications. The crude incidence rate of hypertension, per 1,000 person-years, was 56.8 for whites, 84.9 for African-Americans, 65.7 for Hispanics, and 52.2 for Chinese. After adjustment for age, gender, and study site, the incidence rate ratio (IRR) for hypertension was increased for African-Americans age 45–54 (IRR=2.05, 95% CI=1.47, 2.85), 55–64 (IRR=1.63, 95% CI=1.20, 2.23), and 65–74 years (IRR=1.67, 95% CI=1.21, 2.30) compared with whites, but not for those 75–84 years of age (IRR=0.97, 95% CI=0.56, 1.66). Additional adjustment for health characteristics attenuated these associations. Hispanic participants also had a higher incidence of hypertension compared with whites; however, hypertension incidence did not differ for Chinese and white participants. In summary, hypertension incidence was higher for African-Americans compared with whites between 45 and 74 years of age but not after age 75 years. Public health prevention programs tailored to middle-age and older adults are needed to eliminate ethnic disparities in incident hypertension.
doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.110.168005
PMCID: PMC3106342  PMID: 21502561
hypertension; race/ethnicity; epidemiology; incidence
6.  Comparison of the Framingham Heart Study Hypertension Model with Blood Pressure Alone in the Prediction of Risk of Hypertension: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
Hypertension  2010;55(6):1339-1345.
A prediction model, developed in the Framingham Heart Study (FHS), has been proposed for use in estimating a given individual’s risk of hypertension. We compared this model with systolic blood pressure (SBP) alone and age-specific diastolic blood pressure (DBP) categories for the prediction of hypertension. Participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, without hypertension or diabetes (n=3013), were followed for the incidence of hypertension (SBP ≥ 140 mmHg and/or DBP ≥ 90 mmHg and/or the initiation of antihypertensive medication). The predicted probability of developing hypertension between four adjacent study examinations, with a median of 1.6 years between examinations, was determined. The mean (standard deviation) age of participants was 58.5 (9.7) years and 53% were women. During follow-up, 849 incident cases of hypertension occurred. The c-statistic for the FHS model was 0.788 (95% CI: 0.773, 0.804) compared with 0.768 (95% CI: 0.751, 0.785; p=0.096 compared to the FHS model) for SBP alone and 0.699 (95% CI: 0.681, 0.717; p<0.001 compared to the FHS model) for age-specific DBP categories. The relative integrated discrimination improvement index for the FHS model versus SBP alone was 10.0% (95% CI: −1.7%, 22.7%) and versus age-specific DBP categories was 146% (95% CI: 116%, 181%). Using the FHS model, there were significant differences between observed and predicted hypertension risk (Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness of fit p<0.001); re-calibrated and best-fit models produced a better model fit (p=0.064 and 0.245, respectively). In this multi-ethnic cohort of U.S. adults, the FHS model was not substantially better than SBP alone for predicting hypertension.
doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.109.149609
PMCID: PMC3023992  PMID: 20439822
hypertension; epidemiology; systolic blood pressure; diastolic blood pressure; risk prediction
7.  Differences in Kidney Function and Incident Hypertension: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Annals of internal medicine  2008;148(7):501-508.
Background
Kidney disease and hypertension commonly coexist, yet the direction of their association is still debated.
Objective
To evaluate whether early kidney dysfunction, measured by serum cystatin C levels and urinary albumin excretion, predates hypertension in adults without clinically recognized kidney or cardiovascular disease.
Design
Observational cohort study using data from 2000 to 2005.
Setting
The MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis), a community-based study of subclinical cardiovascular disease in adults age 45 to 84 years.
Participants
2767 MESA participants without prevalent hypertension, cardiovascular disease, or clinically recognized kidney disease (an estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 mL/min per 1.73 m2 or microalbuminuria).
Measurements
Cystatin C was measured by using a nephelometer, and urinary albumin and creatinine were measured from a spot morning collection. The primary outcome was incident hypertension, defined as systolic blood pressure of at least 140 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure of at least 90 mm Hg, or use of an antihypertensive medication.
Results
During a median follow-up of 3.1 years, 19.7% of the cohort (545 participants) developed hypertension. After adjustment for established hypertension risk factors, each 15-nmol/L increase in cystatin C was associated with a statistically significant 15% greater incidence of hypertension (P = 0.017). The highest sex-specific quartile of urinary albumin–creatinine ratio was associated with a statistically insignificant 16% greater incidence of hypertension (P = 0.192) compared with the lowest quartile. No statistical evidence suggested a multiplicative interaction.
Limitations
Unmeasured characteristics may have confounded observed associations of kidney markers with hypertension. Follow-up was relatively short. Hypertension that may have occurred between study visits or hypertension that was not captured by standard cuff measurements may have been missed.
Conclusion
Differences in kidney function, indicated by cystatin C levels, are associated with incident hypertension among individuals without clinical kidney or cardiovascular disease. These population-based findings complement experimental work implicating early kidney damage in the pathogenesis of essential hypertension.
PMCID: PMC3044648  PMID: 18378946
8.  The Influence of Health Systems on Hypertension Awareness, Treatment, and Control: A Systematic Literature Review 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(7):e1001490.
Will Maimaris and colleagues systematically review the evidence that national or regional health systems, including place of care and medication co-pays, influence hypertension awareness, treatment, and control.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Hypertension (HT) affects an estimated one billion people worldwide, nearly three-quarters of whom live in low- or middle-income countries (LMICs). In both developed and developing countries, only a minority of individuals with HT are adequately treated. The reasons are many but, as with other chronic diseases, they include weaknesses in health systems. We conducted a systematic review of the influence of national or regional health systems on HT awareness, treatment, and control.
Methods and Findings
Eligible studies were those that analyzed the impact of health systems arrangements at the regional or national level on HT awareness, treatment, control, or antihypertensive medication adherence. The following databases were searched on 13th May 2013: Medline, Embase, Global Health, LILACS, Africa-Wide Information, IMSEAR, IMEMR, and WPRIM. There were no date or language restrictions. Two authors independently assessed papers for inclusion, extracted data, and assessed risk of bias. A narrative synthesis of the findings was conducted. Meta-analysis was not conducted due to substantial methodological heterogeneity in included studies. 53 studies were included, 11 of which were carried out in LMICs. Most studies evaluated health system financing and only four evaluated the effect of either human, physical, social, or intellectual resources on HT outcomes. Reduced medication co-payments were associated with improved HT control and treatment adherence, mainly evaluated in US settings. On balance, health insurance coverage was associated with improved outcomes of HT care in US settings. Having a routine place of care or physician was associated with improved HT care.
Conclusions
This review supports the minimization of medication co-payments in health insurance plans, and although studies were largely conducted in the US, the principle is likely to apply more generally. Studies that identify and analyze complexities and links between health systems arrangements and their effects on HT management are required, particularly in LMICs.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
In 2008, one billion people, three-quarters of whom were living in low- and middle-income countries, had high blood pressure (hypertension). Worldwide, hypertension, which rarely has any symptoms, leads to about 7.5 million deaths annually from heart attacks, stroke, other cardiovascular diseases, and kidney disease. Hypertension, selected by the World Health Organization as the theme for World Health Day 2013, is diagnosed by measuring blood pressure, the force that blood circulating in the body exerts on the inside of large blood vessels. Blood pressure is highest when the heart is contracts to pump blood out (systolic blood pressure) and lowest when the heart relaxes and refills (diastolic blood pressure). Normal adult blood pressure is defined as a systolic blood pressure of less than 120 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and a diastolic blood pressure of less than 80 mmHg (a blood pressure of less than 120/80 mmHg). A blood pressure reading of more than 140/90 mmHg indicates hypertension. Many factors affect blood pressure, but overweight people and individuals who eat fatty or salty foods are at high risk of developing hypertension.
Why Was This Study Done?
Most individuals can achieve good hypertension control, which reduces death and disability from cardiovascular and kidney disease, by making lifestyle changes (mild hypertension) and/or by taking antihypertensive drugs. Yet, in both developed and developing countries, many people with hypertension are not aware of their condition and are not adequately treated. As with other chronic diseases, weaknesses in health care systems probably contribute to the inadequate treatment of hypertension. A health care system comprises all the organizations, institutions, and resources whose primary purpose is to improve health. Weaknesses in health care systems can exist at the national, regional, district, community, and household level. In this systematic review (a study that uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic), the researchers investigate how national and regional health care system arrangements influence hypertension awareness, treatment, and control. Actions that might influence hypertension care at this level of health care systems include providing treatment for hypertension at no or reduced cost, the introduction of financial incentives to healthcare practitioners for the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension, and enhanced insurance coverage in countries such as the US where people pay for health care through insurance policies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 53 studies that analyzed whether regional or national health care systems arrangements were associated with patient awareness of hypertension, treatment of hypertension, adherence to antihypertensive medication treatment, and control of hypertension. The researchers used an established conceptual framework for health care systems and an approach called narrative synthesis to analyze the results of these studies, most of which were conducted in the US (36 studies) and other high-income countries (eight studies). Nearly all the studies evaluated the effects of health system financing on hypertension outcomes, although several looked at the effects of delivery and governance of health systems on these outcomes. The researchers' analysis revealed an association between reduced medication co-payments (drug costs that are not covered by health insurance and that are paid by patients in countries without universal free healthcare) and improved hypertension control and treatment adherence, mainly in US settings. In addition, in US settings, health insurance coverage was associated with improved hypertension outcomes, as was having a routine physician or place of care.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that minimizing co-payments for health care and expansion of health insurance coverage in countries without universal free health care may improve the awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension. Although these findings are based mainly on US studies, they are likely to apply more generally but, importantly, these findings indicate that additional, high-quality studies are needed to unravel the impact of health systems arrangements on the management of hypertension. In particular, they reveal few studies in low- and middle-income countries where most of the global burden of hypertension lies and where weaknesses in health systems often result in deficiencies in the care of chronic diseases. Moreover, they highlight a need for studies that evaluate how aspects of health care systems other than financing (for example, delivery and governance mechanisms) and interactions between health care system arrangements affect hypertension outcomes. Without the results of such studies, governments and national and international organizations will not know the best ways to deal effectively with the global public-health crisis posed by hypertension.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001490.
The US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has patient information about high blood pressure (in English and Spanish)
The American Heart Association provides information on high blood pressure (in several languages) and personal stories about dealing with high blood pressure
The UK National Health Service (NHS) Choices website provides detailed information for patients about hypertension and a personal story about hypertension
The World Health Organization provides information on controlling blood pressure and on health systems (in several languages); its "A Global Brief on Hypertension" was published on World Health Day 2013
MedlinePlus provides links to further information about high blood pressure (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001490
PMCID: PMC3728036  PMID: 23935461
9.  Risk Stratification by Self-Measured Home Blood Pressure across Categories of Conventional Blood Pressure: A Participant-Level Meta-Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(1):e1001591.
Jan Staessen and colleagues compare the risk of cardiovascular, cardiac, or cerebrovascular events in patients with elevated office blood pressure vs. self-measured home blood pressure.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
The Global Burden of Diseases Study 2010 reported that hypertension is worldwide the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease, causing 9.4 million deaths annually. We examined to what extent self-measurement of home blood pressure (HBP) refines risk stratification across increasing categories of conventional blood pressure (CBP).
Methods and Findings
This meta-analysis included 5,008 individuals randomly recruited from five populations (56.6% women; mean age, 57.1 y). All were not treated with antihypertensive drugs. In multivariable analyses, hazard ratios (HRs) associated with 10-mm Hg increases in systolic HBP were computed across CBP categories, using the following systolic/diastolic CBP thresholds (in mm Hg): optimal, <120/<80; normal, 120–129/80–84; high-normal, 130–139/85–89; mild hypertension, 140–159/90–99; and severe hypertension, ≥160/≥100.
Over 8.3 y, 522 participants died, and 414, 225, and 194 had cardiovascular, cardiac, and cerebrovascular events, respectively. In participants with optimal or normal CBP, HRs for a composite cardiovascular end point associated with a 10-mm Hg higher systolic HBP were 1.28 (1.01–1.62) and 1.22 (1.00–1.49), respectively. At high-normal CBP and in mild hypertension, the HRs were 1.24 (1.03–1.49) and 1.20 (1.06–1.37), respectively, for all cardiovascular events and 1.33 (1.07–1.65) and 1.30 (1.09–1.56), respectively, for stroke. In severe hypertension, the HRs were not significant (p≥0.20). Among people with optimal, normal, and high-normal CBP, 67 (5.0%), 187 (18.4%), and 315 (30.3%), respectively, had masked hypertension (HBP≥130 mm Hg systolic or ≥85 mm Hg diastolic). Compared to true optimal CBP, masked hypertension was associated with a 2.3-fold (1.5–3.5) higher cardiovascular risk. A limitation was few data from low- and middle-income countries.
Conclusions
HBP substantially refines risk stratification at CBP levels assumed to carry no or only mildly increased risk, in particular in the presence of masked hypertension. Randomized trials could help determine the best use of CBP vs. HBP in guiding BP management. Our study identified a novel indication for HBP, which, in view of its low cost and the increased availability of electronic communication, might be globally applicable, even in remote areas or in low-resource settings.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Globally, hypertension (high blood pressure) is the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease and is responsible for 9.4 million deaths annually from heart attacks, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases. Hypertension, which rarely has any symptoms, is diagnosed by measuring blood pressure, the force that blood circulating in the body exerts on the inside of large blood vessels. Blood pressure is highest when the heart is pumping out blood (systolic blood pressure) and lowest when the heart is refilling (diastolic blood pressure). European guidelines define optimal blood pressure as a systolic blood pressure of less than 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and a diastolic blood pressure of less than 80 mm Hg (a blood pressure of less than 120/80 mm Hg). Normal blood pressure, high-normal blood pressure, and mild hypertension are defined as blood pressures in the ranges 120–129/80–84 mm Hg, 130–139/85–89 mm Hg, and 140–159/90–99 mm Hg, respectively. A blood pressure of more than 160 mm Hg systolic or 100 mm Hg diastolic indicates severe hypertension. Many factors affect blood pressure; overweight people and individuals who eat salty or fatty food are at high risk of developing hypertension. Lifestyle changes and/or antihypertensive drugs can be used to control hypertension.
Why Was This Study Done?
The current guidelines for the diagnosis and management of hypertension recommend risk stratification based on conventionally measured blood pressure (CBP, the average of two consecutive measurements made at a clinic). However, self-measured home blood pressure (HBP) more accurately predicts outcomes because multiple HBP readings are taken and because HBP measurement avoids the “white-coat effect”—some individuals have a raised blood pressure in a clinical setting but not at home. Could risk stratification across increasing categories of CBP be refined through the use of self-measured HBP, particularly at CBP levels assumed to be associated with no or only mildly increased risk? Here, the researchers undertake a participant-level meta-analysis (a study that uses statistical approaches to pool results from individual participants in several independent studies) to answer this question.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers included 5,008 individuals recruited from five populations and enrolled in the International Database of Home Blood Pressure in Relation to Cardiovascular Outcome (IDHOCO) in their meta-analysis. CBP readings were available for all the participants, who measured their HBP using an oscillometric device (an electronic device for measuring blood pressure). The researchers used information on fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular, cardiac, and cerebrovascular (stroke) events to calculate the hazard ratios (HRs, indicators of increased risk) associated with a 10-mm Hg increase in systolic HBP across standard CBP categories. In participants with optimal CBP, an increase in systolic HBP of 10-mm Hg increased the risk of any cardiovascular event by nearly 30% (an HR of 1.28). Similar HRs were associated with a 10-mm Hg increase in systolic HBP for all cardiovascular events among people with normal and high-normal CBP and with mild hypertension, but for people with severe hypertension, systolic HBP did not significantly add to the prediction of any end point. Among people with optimal, normal, and high-normal CBP, 5%, 18.4%, and 30.4%, respectively, had a HBP of 130/85 or higher (“masked hypertension,” a higher blood pressure in daily life than in a clinical setting). Finally, compared to individuals with optimal CBP without masked hypertension, individuals with masked hypertension had more than double the risk of cardiovascular disease.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that HBP measurements, particularly in individuals with masked hypertension, refine risk stratification at CBP levels assumed to be associated with no or mildly elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. That is, HBP measurements can improve the prediction of cardiovascular complications or death among individuals with optimal, normal, and high-normal CBP but not among individuals with severe hypertension. Clinical trials are needed to test whether the identification and treatment of masked hypertension leads to a reduction of cardiovascular complications and is cost-effective compared to the current standard of care, which does not include HBP measurements and does not treat people with normal or high-normal CBP. Until then, these findings provide support for including HBP monitoring in primary prevention strategies for cardiovascular disease among individuals at risk for masked hypertension (for example, people with diabetes), and for carrying out HBP monitoring in people with a normal CBP but unexplained signs of hypertensive target organ damage.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001591.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Mark Caulfield
The US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has patient information about high blood pressure (in English and Spanish) and a guide to lowering high blood pressure that includes personal stories
The American Heart Association provides information on high blood pressure and on cardiovascular diseases (in several languages); it also provides personal stories about dealing with high blood pressure
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides detailed information for patients about hypertension (including a personal story) and about cardiovascular disease
The World Health Organization provides information on cardiovascular disease and controlling blood pressure; its A Global Brief on Hypertension was published on World Health Day 2013
The UK charity Blood Pressure UK provides information about white-coat hypertension and about home blood pressure monitoring
MedlinePlus provides links to further information about high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001591
PMCID: PMC3897370  PMID: 24465187
10.  Examining a Bidirectional Association Between Depressive Symptoms and Diabetes 
Context
Depressive symptoms are associated with development of type 2 diabetes, but it is unclear whether type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for elevated depressive symptoms.
Objective
To examine the bidirectional association between depressive symptoms and type 2 diabetes.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, a longitudinal, ethnically diverse cohort study of US men and women aged 45 to 84 years enrolled in 2000-2002 and followed up until 2004-2005.
Main Outcome Measures
Elevated depressive symptoms defined by Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) score of 16 or higher, use of antidepressant medications, or both. The CES-D score was also modeled continuously. Participants were categorized as normal fasting glucose (<100 mg/dL), impaired fasting glucose (100-125 mg/dL), or type 2 diabetes (≥126 mg/dL or receiving treatment). Analysis 1 included 5201 participants without type 2 diabetes at baseline and estimated the relative hazard of incidenttype2diabetesover3.2yearsforthosewithandwithoutdepressivesymptoms.Analysis 2 included 4847 participants without depressive symptoms at baseline and calculated the relative odds of developing depressive symptoms over 3.1 years for those with and without type 2 diabetes.
Results
In analysis 1, the incidence rate of type 2 diabetes was 22.0 and 16.6 per 1000 person-years for those with and without elevated depressive symptoms, respectively. The risk of incident type 2 diabetes was 1.10 times higher for each 5-unit increment in CES-D score (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.19) after adjustment for demographic factors and body mass index. This association persisted following adjustment for metabolic, inflammatory, socioeconomic, or lifestyle factors, although it was no longer statistically significant following adjustment for the latter (relative hazard, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.99-1.19). In analysis 2, the incidence rates of elevated depressive symptoms per 1000-person years were 36.8 for participants with normal fasting glucose; 27.9 for impaired fasting glucose; 31.2 for untreated type 2 diabetes, and 61.9 for treated type 2 diabetes. Compared with normal fasting glucose, the demographic–adjusted odds ratios of developing elevated depressive symptoms were 0.79 (95% CI, 0.63-0.99) for impaired fasting glucose, 0.75 (95% CI, 0.44-1.27) for untreated type 2 diabetes, and 1.54 (95% CI, 1.13-2.09) for treated type 2 diabetes. None of these associations with incident depressive symptoms were materially altered with adjustment for body mass index, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors, and comorbidities. Findings in both analyses were comparable across ethnic groups.
Conclusions
A modest association of baseline depressive symptoms with incident type 2 diabetes existed that was partially explained by lifestyle factors. Impaired fasting glucose and untreated type 2 diabetes were inversely associated with incident depressive symptoms, whereas treated type 2 diabetes showed a positive association with depressive symptoms. These associations were not substantively affected by adjustment for potential confounding or mediating factors.
doi:10.1001/jama.299.23.2751
PMCID: PMC2648841  PMID: 18560002
11.  Effects of Intensive Blood Pressure Lowering on Cardiovascular and Renal Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(8):e1001293.
In a systematic review and meta-analysis Vlado Perkovic and colleagues investigate whether more intensive blood pressure lowering regimens are associated with greater reductions in the risk of major cardiovascular events and end stage kidney disease.
Background
Guidelines recommend intensive blood pressure (BP) lowering in patients at high risk. While placebo-controlled trials have demonstrated 22% reductions in coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke associated with a 10-mmHg difference in systolic BP, it is unclear if more intensive BP lowering strategies are associated with greater reductions in risk of CHD and stroke. We did a systematic review to assess the effects of intensive BP lowering on vascular, eye, and renal outcomes.
Methods and Findings
We systematically searched Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Library for trials published between 1950 and July 2011. We included trials that randomly assigned individuals to different target BP levels.
We identified 15 trials including a total of 37,348 participants. On average there was a 7.5/4.5-mmHg BP difference. Intensive BP lowering achieved relative risk (RR) reductions of 11% for major cardiovascular events (95% CI 1%–21%), 13% for myocardial infarction (0%–25%), 24% for stroke (8%–37%), and 11% for end stage kidney disease (3%–18%). Intensive BP lowering regimens also produced a 10% reduction in the risk of albuminuria (4%–16%), and a trend towards benefit for retinopathy (19%, 0%–34%, p = 0.051) in patients with diabetes. There was no clear effect on cardiovascular or noncardiovascular death. Intensive BP lowering was well tolerated; with serious adverse events uncommon and not significantly increased, except for hypotension (RR 4.16, 95% CI 2.25 to 7.70), which occurred infrequently (0.4% per 100 person-years).
Conclusions
Intensive BP lowering regimens provided greater vascular protection than standard regimens that was proportional to the achieved difference in systolic BP, but did not have any clear impact on the risk of death or serious adverse events. Further trials are required to more clearly define the risks and benefits of BP targets below those currently recommended, given the benefits suggested by the currently available data.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
Editors' Summary
Background
About a third of US and UK adults have high blood pressure (hypertension). Although hypertension has no obvious symptoms, it can lead to heart attacks, stroke, and other forms of cardiovascular disease, to kidney failure, and to retinopathy (blindness caused by damage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye). Hypertension is diagnosed by measuring blood pressure (BP)—the force that blood moving around the body exerts on the inside of large blood vessels. BP is highest when the heart is pumping out blood (systolic BP) and lowest when it is refilling with blood (diastolic BP). A normal adult BP is defined as a systolic BP of less than 130 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and a diastolic BP of less than 85 mmHg (a BP of 130/85). A reading of more than 140/90 indicates hypertension. Many factors affect BP, but overweight people and individuals who eat fatty or salty food are at high risk of developing hypertension. Mild hypertension can be corrected by making lifestyle changes, but people often take antihypertensive drugs to reduce their BP.
Why Was This Study Done?
Doctors usually try to reduce the BP of their hypertensive patients to 140/90 mmHg. However, some treatment guidelines now advocate a target BP of 130/80 mmHg for individuals at high risk of life-threatening cardiovascular events, such as people with diabetes or kidney impairment. But does more intensive BP lowering actually reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke? Although placebo-controlled randomized trials of BP lowering have suggested that a 10 mmHg fall in systolic BP is associated with a 22% reduction in the risk in coronary heart disease and a 41% reduction in the risk of stroke, it is unclear whether intensive BP lowering strategies are associated with greater reductions in the risk of cardiovascular disease than standard strategies. In this systematic review (a search that uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic) and meta-analysis (a statistical method for combining the results of studies), the researchers investigate the effects of intensive BP lowering on cardiovascular, eye, and renal outcomes.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 15 randomized controlled trials in which more than 37,000 participants were randomly assigned to antihypertensive drug-based strategies designed to achieve different target BPs. On average, the more intensive strategies reduced the BP of participants by 7.5/4.5 mmHg more than the less intensive strategies. Compared to standard BP lowering strategies, more intensive BP lowering strategies reduced the risk of major cardiovascular events (a composite endpoint comprising heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and cardiovascular death) by 11%, the risk of heart attack by 13%, the risk of stroke by 24%, the risk of end-stage kidney disease by 11%, and the risk of albuminuria (protein in the urine, a sign of kidney damage) by 10%. There was also a trend towards a reduced risk for retinopathy with more intensive BP lowering but no clear reduction in cardiovascular or noncardiovascular deaths. Finally, aiming for a lower BP target did not increase the rate of drug discontinuation or the risk of serious adverse events apart from hypotension (very low BP).
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that, although intensive BP lowering regimens have no clear effect on the risk of death, they may provide greater protection against cardiovascular events than standard BP lowering regimens. Indeed, the researchers calculate that among every thousand hypertensive patients with a high cardiovascular risk, more intensive BP lowering could prevent two of the 20 cardiovascular events expected to happen every year. Although intensive BP lowering did not seem to increase the risk of severe adverse effects, the accuracy of this finding is limited by inconsistent reporting of adverse events in the trials included in this study. Moreover, because most of the trial participants had additional risk factors for cardiovascular events such as diabetes and chronic kidney disease, these findings may not be generalizable to people with hypertension alone. Thus, although this study suggests that a target BP of 130/80 is likely to produce an additional overall benefit compared to a target of 140/90, more trials are needed to confirm this conclusion and to determine the best way to reach the lower target.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001293.
The US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has patient information about high blood pressure (in English and Spanish)
The American Heart Association provides information on high blood pressure and on cardiovascular diseases (in several languages); it also provides personal stories from people dealing with high blood pressure
The UK National Health Service (NHS) Choices website also provides detailed information for patients about hypertension, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease; the NHS Local website has a collection of personal stories about hypertension and a series of films that explain hypertension
MedlinePlus provides links to further information about high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001293
PMCID: PMC3424246  PMID: 22927798
12.  TRAJECTORIES OF DEPRESSIVE EPISODES AND HYPERTENSION OVER 24 YEARS: THE WHITEHALL II PROSPECTIVE COHORT STUDY 
Hypertension  2011;57(4):710-716.
Prospective data on depressive symptoms and blood pressure (BP) are scarce, and the impact of age on this association is poorly understood. The present study examines longitudinal trajectories of depressive episodes and the probability of hypertension associated with these trajectories over time. Participants were 6,889 men and 3,413 women London based civil servants, aged 35–55 years at baseline, followed for 24 years between 1985 and 2009. Depressive episode (defined as scoring 4 or more on the General Health Questionnaire-Depression subscale or using prescribed antidepressant medication) and hypertension (systolic/diastolic blood pressure ≥ 140/90 mm Hg or use of antihypertensive medication) were assessed concurrently at five medical examinations. In the fully adjusted longitudinal logistic regression analyses based on Generalized-Estimating-Equations using age as the time scale, participants in the “increasing depression” group had a 24% (p<0.05) lower risk of hypertension at ages 35–39, compared to those in the “low/transient depression” group. However, there was a faster age-related increase in hypertension in the “increasing depression” group, corresponding to a 7% (p<0.01) greater increase in the odds of hypertension for every each five-year increase in age. A higher risk of hypertension in the first group of participants was not evident before age 55. A similar pattern of association was observed in men and women although it was stronger in men. This study suggests that the risk of hypertension increases with repeated experience of depressive episodes over time and becomes evident in later adulthood.
doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.110.164061
PMCID: PMC3065997  PMID: 21339474
Depression; hypertension; longitudinal analysis; repeated measures
13.  Association of higher diastolic blood pressure levels with cognitive impairment 
Neurology  2009;73(8):589-595.
Background:
We evaluated the cross-sectional relationship of blood pressure (BP) components with cognitive impairment after adjusting for potential confounders.
Methods:
Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) is a national, longitudinal population cohort evaluating stroke risk in 30,228 black and white men and women ≥45 years old. During the in-home visit, BP measurements were taken as the average of 2 measurements using a standard aneroid sphygmomanometer. Excluding participants with prior stroke or TIA, the present analysis included 19,836 participants (enrolled from December 2003 to March 2007) with complete baseline physical and cognitive evaluations. Incremental logistic models examined baseline relationships between BP components (systolic blood pressure [SBP], diastolic blood pressure [DBP], and pulse pressure [PP]) and impaired cognitive status (score of ≤4 on 6-Item Screener) after adjusting for demographic and environmental characteristics, cardiovascular risk factors, depressive symptoms, and current use of any antihypertensive medication.
Results:
Higher DBP levels were associated with impaired cognitive status after adjusting for demographic and environmental characteristics, risk factors, depressive symptoms, and antihypertensive medications. An increment of 10 mm Hg in DBP was associated with a 7% (95% confidence interval [CI] 1%–14%, p = 0.0275) higher odds of cognitive impairment. No independent association was identified between impaired cognitive status and SBP (odds ratio [OR] 1.02, 95% CI 0.99–1.06) or PP (OR 0.99, 95% CI 0.95–1.04). There was no evidence of nonlinear relationships between any of the BP components and impaired cognitive status. There was no interaction between age and the relationship of impaired cognitive status with SBP (p = 0.827), DBP (p = 0.133), or PP (p = 0.827) levels.
Conclusions:
Higher diastolic blood pressure was cross-sectionally and independently associated with impaired cognitive status in this large, geographically dispersed, race- and sex-balanced sample of stroke-free individuals.
GLOSSARY
= Alzheimer disease;
= Atherosclerosis Risk in Community;
= body mass index;
= blood pressure;
= Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression–4-item version;
= confidence interval;
= diastolic blood pressure;
= interquartile range;
= odds ratio;
= pulse pressure;
= Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke;
= systolic blood pressure.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181b38969
PMCID: PMC2731621  PMID: 19704077
14.  A PROSPECTIVE STUDY OF BODY MASS INDEX AND THE RISK OF DEVELOPING HYPERTENSION IN MEN 
American journal of hypertension  2007;20(4):370-377.
Background
Although obesity is known to increase the risk of hypertension, few studies have prospectively evaluated body mass index (BMI) across the range of normal weight and overweight as a primary risk factor.
Methods
In this prospective cohort, we evaluated the association between BMI and risk of incident hypertension. We studied 13,563 initially healthy, non-hypertensive men who participated in the Physicians’ Health Study. We calculated BMI from self-reported weight and height and defined hypertension as self-reported systolic blood pressure (BP) ≥140 mmHg, diastolic BP ≥90 mmHg, or new antihypertensive medication use.
Results
After a median 14.5 years, 4920 participants developed hypertension. Higher baseline BMI, even within the “normal” range, was consistently associated with increased risk of hypertension. Compared to participants in the lowest BMI quintile (<22.4 kg/m2), the relative risks (95% confidence interval) of developing hypertension for men with a BMI of 22.4–23.6, 23.7–24.7, 24.8–26.4, and >26.4 kg/m2 were 1.20 (1.09–1.32), 1.31 (1.19–1.44), 1.56 (1.42–1.72), and 1.85 (1.69–2.03), respectively (P for trend, <0.0001). Further adjustment for diabetes, high cholesterol, and baseline BP did not substantially alter these results. We found similar associations using other BMI categories and after excluding men with smoking history, those who developed hypertension in the first 2 years, and those with diabetes, obesity, or high cholesterol at baseline.
Conclusion
In this large cohort, we found a strong gradient between higher BMI and increased risk of hypertension, even among men within the “normal” and mildly “overweight” BMI range. Approaches to reduce the risk of developing hypertension may include prevention of overweight and obesity.
doi:10.1016/j.amjhyper.2006.10.011
PMCID: PMC1920107  PMID: 17386342
hypertension; obesity; body mass index
15.  A Diet Pattern with More Dairy and Nuts, but Less Meat Is Related to Lower Risk of Developing Hypertension in Middle-Aged Adults: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study 
Nutrients  2013;5(5):1719-1733.
Dietary intake among other lifestyle factors influence blood pressure. We examined the associations of an “a priori” diet score with incident high normal blood pressure (HNBP; systolic blood pressure (SBP) 120–139 mmHg, or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) 80–89 mmHg and no antihypertensive medications) and hypertension (SBP ≥ 140 mmHg, DBP ≥ 90 mmHg, or taking antihypertensive medication). We used proportional hazards regression to evaluate this score in quintiles (Q) and each food group making up the score relative to incident HNBP or hypertension over nine years in the Atherosclerosis Risk of Communities (ARIC) study of 9913 African-American and Caucasian adults aged 45–64 years and free of HNBP or hypertension at baseline. Incidence of HNBP varied from 42.5% in white women to 44.1% in black women; and incident hypertension from 26.1% in white women to 40.8% in black women. Adjusting for demographics and CVD risk factors, the “a priori” food score was inversely associated with incident hypertension; but not HNBP. Compared to Q1, the relative hazards of hypertension for the food score Q2–Q5 were 0.97 (0.87–1.09), 0.91 (0.81–1.02), 0.91 (0.80–1.03), and 0.86 (0.75–0.98); ptrend = 0.01. This inverse relation was largely attributable to greater intake of dairy products and nuts, and less meat. These findings support the 2010 Dietary Guidelines to consume more dairy products and nuts, but suggest a reduction in meat intake.
doi:10.3390/nu5051719
PMCID: PMC3708346  PMID: 23698164
diet pattern; healthy food score; hypertension; high normal blood pressure
16.  Stages of Systemic Hypertension and Blood Pressure as Correlates of Computed Tomography-Assessed Aortic Valve Calcium (From the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis) 
Hypertension has been identified as a risk factor for aortic valve calcium (AVC) but the magnitude of the risk relation with hypertension severity or whether age affects the strength of this risk association has not been studied. The relationship of hypertension severity, as defined by JNC-7 hypertension stages or blood pressure (BP), to CT-assessed AVC prevalence and severity was examined in 4,274 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) without treated hypertension. Analyses were stratified by age < or ≥ 65 years, were adjusted for common cardiovascular risk factors, and excluded those on antihypertensive medications. In age-stratified, adjusted analyses, Stage I/II hypertension was associated with prevalent AVC in those <65 but not in those ≥65 years of age [OR (95% CI): 2.31 (1.35, 3.94) vs. 1.33 (0.96, 1.85), P-interaction = 0.041]. Similarly, systolic BP and pulse pressure (PP) were more strongly associated with prevalent AVC in those <65 than those ≥65 years of age [OR (95% CI): 1.21 (1.08, 1.35) vs. 1.07 (1.01, 1.14) per 10 mmHg increase in systolic BP, Pinteraction = 0.006] and [OR (95% CI): 1.41 (1.21, 1.64) vs. 1.14 (1.05, 1.23) per 10 mmHg increase in PP]. No associations were found between either hypertension stage or BP and AVC severity. In conclusion, stage I/II hypertension, as well as higher systolic pressure and pulse pressure were associated with prevalent AVC. These risk associations were strongest in participants younger than age 65 years.
doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2010.08.042
PMCID: PMC3032359  PMID: 21146685
Blood Pressure; Aortic Valve; Calcification
17.  Insulin Therapy, Hyperglycemia, and Hypertension in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus 
Archives of internal medicine  2008;168(17):1867-1873.
Background
Diabetes mellitus and hypertension are closely linked, but the long-term blood pressure effects of glucose-lowering therapy and hyperglycemia are not clear.
Methods
We examined the effects of intensive insulin therapy and hyperglycemia on the development of hypertension in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) and its observational follow-up, the Epidemiology of Diabetes Intervention and Complications (EDIC) study. Incident hypertension was defined as 2 consecutive study visits with a systolic blood pressure of 140 mmHg or higher, a diastolic blood pressure of 90mmHg or higher, or use of antihypertensive medications to treat high blood pressure.
Results
Participants were enrolled from August 23, 1983, through June 30, 1989. During a 15.8-year median follow-up, 630 of 1441 participants developed hypertension. During the DCCT, the incidence of hypertension was similar comparing participants assigned to intensive vs conventional therapy. However, intensive therapy during the DCCT reduced the risk of incident hypertension by 24% during EDIC study follow-up (hazard ratio, 0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.64–0.92). A higher hemoglobin A1c level, measured at baseline or throughout follow-up, was associated with increased risk for incident hypertension (adjusted hazard ratios, 1.11 [95% CI, 1.06–1.17] and 1.25 [95% CI, 1.14–1.37], respectively, for each 1% higher hemoglobin A1c level), and glycemic control appeared to mediate the antihypertensive benefit of intensive therapy. Older age, male sex, family history of hypertension, greater baseline body mass index, weight gain, and greater albumin excretion rate were independently associated with increased risk of hypertension.
Conclusions
Hyperglycemia is a risk factor for incident hypertension in type 1 diabetes, and intensive insulin therapy reduces the long-term risk of developing hypertension.
doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2008.2
PMCID: PMC2701288  PMID: 18809813
18.  Hypertension Awareness, Treatment, and Control in Adults With CKD: Results From the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study 
Background
A low rate of blood pressure control has been reported among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). These data were derived from population-based samples with a low rate of CKD awareness.
Study Design
Cross-sectional
Setting & Participants
Data from the baseline visit of the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) study (n=3612) were analyzed. Participants with an estimated glomerular filtration rate of 20 to 70 ml/min/1.73m2 were identified from physician offices and review of laboratory databases.
Outcomes
Prevalence and awareness of hypertension, treatment patterns, control rates and factors associated with hypertension control.
Measurements
Following a standardized protocol, blood pressure was measured three times by trained staff and hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg and/or self-reported antihypertensive medication use. Patients’ awareness and treatment of hypertension were defined using self-report and two levels of hypertension control were evaluated: systolic/diastolic blood pressure <140/90 mmHg and <130/80 mmHg.
Results
The prevalence of hypertension was 85.7%, and 98.9% of CRIC participants were aware of this diagnosis, 98.3% were treated with medications while 67.1% and 46.1% had their hypertension controlled to <140/90 mmHg and <130/80 mmHg, respectively. Of CRIC participants with hypertension, 15%, 25%, 26% and 32% were taking one, two, three and four or more antihypertensive medications, respectively. After multivariable adjustment, older patients, blacks, those with higher urinary albumin excretion were less likely while participants taking ACE-inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers were more likely to have controlled their hypertension to <140/90 mmHg and <130/80 mmHg.
Limitations
Data were derived from a single study visit.
Conclusions
Despite almost universal hypertension awareness and treatment in this cohort of patients with CKD, rates of hypertension control were sub-optimal.
doi:10.1053/j.ajkd.2009.09.014
PMCID: PMC2866514  PMID: 19962808
19.  Life Course Trajectories of Systolic Blood Pressure Using Longitudinal Data from Eight UK Cohorts 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(6):e1000440.
Analysis of eight population-based and occupational cohorts from the UK reveals the patterns of change of blood pressure in the population through the life course.
Background
Much of our understanding of the age-related progression of systolic blood pressure (SBP) comes from cross-sectional data, which do not directly capture within-individual change. We estimated life course trajectories of SBP using longitudinal data from seven population-based cohorts and one predominantly white collar occupational cohort, each from the United Kingdom and with data covering different but overlapping age periods.
Methods and Findings
Data are from 30,372 individuals and comprise 102,583 SBP observations spanning from age 7 to 80+y. Multilevel models were fitted to each cohort. Four life course phases were evident in both sexes: a rapid increase in SBP coinciding with peak adolescent growth, a more gentle increase in early adulthood, a midlife acceleration beginning in the fourth decade, and a period of deceleration in late adulthood where increases in SBP slowed and SBP eventually declined. These phases were still present, although at lower levels, after adjusting for increases in body mass index though adulthood. The deceleration and decline in old age was less evident after excluding individuals who had taken antihypertensive medication. Compared to the population-based cohorts, the occupational cohort had a lower mean SBP, a shallower annual increase in midlife, and a later midlife acceleration. The maximum sex difference was found at age 26 (+8.2 mm Hg higher in men, 95% CI: 6.7, 9.8); women then experienced steeper rises and caught up by the seventh decade.
Conclusions
Our investigation shows a general pattern of SBP progression from childhood in the UK, and suggests possible differences in this pattern during adulthood between a general population and an occupational population.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
About a third of US and UK adults have high blood pressure (hypertension). Although hypertension has no obvious symptoms, it can lead to life-threatening heart attacks, stroke, and other forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD). It is diagnosed by measuring blood pressure—the force that blood moving around the body exerts on the inside of large blood vessels. Blood pressure is highest when the heart is pumping out blood (systolic blood pressure [SBP]) and lowest when the heart is re-filling with blood (diastolic blood pressure [DBP]). Normal adult blood pressure is defined as an SBP of less than 130 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and a DBP of less than 85 mm Hg (a blood pressure of 130/85). A reading of more than 140/90 indicates hypertension. Many factors affect blood pressure, but overweight people and individuals who eat fatty or salty food are at high risk of developing hypertension. Moreover, blood pressure tends to increase with age. Mild hypertension can often be corrected by making lifestyle changes, but many people take antihypertensive drugs to reduce their blood pressure.
Why Was This Study Done?
Several trials have indicated that SBP is an important, modifiable risk factor for CVD. But, to determine the best way to prevent CVD, it is important to understand how SBP changes through life and how lifestyle factors affect this age-related progression. Textbook descriptions of age-related changes in SBP are based on studies that measured SBP at a single time point in groups (cohorts) of people of different ages. However, such “cross-sectional” studies do not capture within-individual changes in SBP and may be affected by environmental effects related to specific historical periods. The best way to measure age-related changes in SBP is through longitudinal studies in which SBP is repeatedly measured over many years in a single cohort. Such studies are underway, but it will be some decades before individuals in these studies reach old age. In this study, therefore, the researchers use data from multiple UK cohorts that had repeated SBP measurements taken over different but overlapping periods of life to investigate the life course trajectory of SBP.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used statistical models to analyze data from longitudinal studies of SBP in seven population-based cohorts (the participants were randomly chosen from the general population) and in one occupational cohort (civil servants). SBP measurements were available for 30,372 individuals with ages spanning from seven years to more than 80 years. The researchers' analysis revealed four phases of SBP change in both sexes: a rapid increase in SBP during adolescent growth, a gentler increase in early adulthood, a midlife acceleration beginning in the fourth decade of life, and a period in late adulthood when SBP increases slowed and then reversed. This last phase was less marked when people taking antihypertensive drugs were excluded from the analysis. After adjusting for increases in body mass index (a measure of body fat) during adulthood, the magnitude of the SBP age-related changes was similar but the average SBP at each age was lower. Compared to the population-based cohorts, the occupational cohort had a lower average SBP, a shallower annual increase in SBP, and a later midlife acceleration, possibly because of socially determined modifiable SBP-related factors such as diet and lifestyle. Finally, although women had lower SBPs in early adulthood than men, they experienced steeper midlife SBP rises (probably because of a menopause-related effect on salt sensitivity) so that by the seventh decade of life, men and women had similar average SBPs.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings describe the general pattern of age-related progression of SBP from early childhood in the UK. The findings may not be generalizable because other populations may be exposed to different distributions of modifiable factors. In addition, their accuracy may be affected by differences between cohorts in how SBP was measured. Nevertheless, these findings—in particular, the slower midlife increase in SBP in the occupational cohort than in the population-based cohorts—suggest that the key determinants of age-related increases in blood pressure are modifiable and could be targeted for CVD prevention. Further research is now needed to identify exactly which factors affect the life course trajectory of SBP and to discover when these factors have their greatest influence on SBP.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000440.
The US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has patient information about high blood pressure (in English and Spanish)
The American Heart Association provides information on high blood pressure and on cardiovascular diseases (in several languages)
The UK National Health Service Choices Web site also provides detailed information for patients about hypertension and about cardiovascular disease
MedlinePlus provides links to further information about high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000440
PMCID: PMC3114857  PMID: 21695075
20.  Twenty-Four-Hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring in Hypertension 
Executive Summary
Objective
The objective of this health technology assessment was to determine the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) for hypertension.
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Hypertension occurs when either systolic blood pressure, the pressure in the artery when the heart contracts, or diastolic blood pressure, the pressure in the artery when the heart relaxes between beats, are consistently high. Blood pressure (BP) that is consistently more than 140/90 mmHg (systolic/diastolic) is considered high. A lower threshold, greater than 130/80 mmHg (systolic/diastolic), is set for individuals with diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
In 2006 and 2007, the age-standardized incidence rate of diagnosed hypertension in Canada was 25.8 per 1,000 (450,000 individuals were newly diagnosed). During the same time period, 22.7% of adult Canadians were living with diagnosed hypertension.
A smaller proportion of Canadians are unaware they have hypertension; therefore, the estimated number of Canadians affected by this disease may be higher. Diagnosis and management of hypertension are important, since elevated BP levels are related to the risk of cardiovascular disease, including stroke. In Canada in 2003, the costs to the health care system related to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of hypertension were over $2.3 billion (Cdn).
Technology
The 24-hour ABPM device consists of a standard inflatable cuff attached to a small computer weighing about 500 grams, which is worn over the shoulder or on a belt. The technology is noninvasive and fully automated. The device takes BP measurements every 15 to 30 minutes over a 24-to 28-hour time period, thus providing extended, continuous BP recordings even during a patient’s normal daily activities. Information on the multiple BP measurements can be downloaded to a computer.
The main detection methods used by the device are auscultation and oscillometry. The device avoids some of the pitfalls of conventional office or clinic blood pressure monitoring (CBPM) using a cuff and mercury sphygmomanometer such as observer bias (the phenomenon of measurement error when the observer overemphasizes expected results) and white coat hypertension (the phenomenon of elevated BP when measured in the office or clinic but normal BP when measured outside of the medical setting).
Research Questions
Is there a difference in patient outcome and treatment protocol using 24-hour ABPM versus CBPM for uncomplicated hypertension?
Is there a difference between the 2 technologies when white coat hypertension is taken into account?
What is the cost-effectiveness and budget impact of 24-hour ABPM versus CBPM for uncomplicated hypertension?
Research Methods
Literature Search
Search Strategy
A literature search was performed on August 4, 2011 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1, 1997 to August 4, 2011. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer. For those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. Articles with unknown eligibility were reviewed with a second clinical epidemiologist and then a group of epidemiologists until consensus was established. The quality of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to GRADE methodology.
Inclusion Criteria
English language articles;
published between January 1, 1997 and August 4, 2011;
adults aged 18 years of age or older;
journal articles reporting on the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, or safety for the comparison of interest;
clearly described study design and methods;
health technology assessments, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, or randomized controlled trials.
Exclusion Criteria
non-English papers;
animal or in vitro studies;
case reports, case series, or case-case studies;
studies comparing different antihypertensive therapies and evaluating their antihypertensive effects using 24-hour ABPM;
studies on home or self-monitoring of BP, and studies on automated office BP measurement;
studies in high-risk subgroups (e.g. diabetes, pregnancy, kidney disease).
Outcomes of Interest
Patient Outcomes
mortality: all cardiovascular events (e.g., myocardial infarction [MI], stroke);
non-fatal: all cardiovascular events (e.g., MI, stroke);
combined fatal and non-fatal: all cardiovascular events (e.g., MI, stroke);
all non-cardiovascular events;
control of BP (e.g. systolic and/or diastolic target level).
Drug-Related Outcomes
percentage of patients who show a reduction in, or stop, drug treatment;
percentage of patients who begin multi-drug treatment;
drug therapy use (e.g. number, intensity of drug use);
drug-related adverse events.
Quality of Evidence
The quality of the body of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE Working Group criteria.
As stated by the GRADE Working Group, the following definitions of quality were used in grading the quality of the evidence:
Summary of Findings
Short-Term Follow-Up Studies (Length of Follow-Up of ≤ 1 Year)
Based on very low quality of evidence, there is no difference between technologies for non-fatal cardiovascular events.
Based on moderate quality of evidence, ABPM resulted in improved BP control among patients with sustained hypertension compared to CBPM.
Based on low quality of evidence, ABPM resulted in hypertensive patients being more likely to stop antihypertensive therapy and less likely to proceed to multi-drug therapy compared to CBPM.
Based on low quality of evidence, there is a beneficial effect of ABPM on the intensity of antihypertensive drug use compared to CBPM.
Based on moderate quality of evidence, there is no difference between technologies in the number of antihypertensive drugs used.
Based on low to very low quality of evidence, there is no difference between technologies in the risk for a drug-related adverse event or noncardiovascular event.
Long-Term Follow-Up Study (Mean Length of Follow-Up of 5 Years)
Based on moderate quality of evidence, there is a beneficial effect of ABPM on total combined cardiovascular events compared to CBPM.
Based on low quality of evidence, there is a lack of a beneficial effect of ABPM on nonfatal cardiovascular events compared to CBPM; however, the lack of a beneficial effect is based on a borderline result.
Based on low quality of evidence, there is no beneficial effect of ABPM on fatal cardiovascular events compared to CBPM.
Based on low quality of evidence, there is no difference between technologies for the number of patients who began multi-drug therapy.
Based on low quality of evidence, there is a beneficial effect of CBPM on control of BP compared to ABPM. This result is in the opposite direction than expected.
Based on moderate quality of evidence, there is no difference between technologies in the risk for a drug-related adverse event.
PMCID: PMC3377518  PMID: 23074425
21.  Ethnic Differences in the Incidence of Hypertension among Rural Chinese Adults: Results from Liaoning Province 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86867.
Background
This study was conducted to examine the differences in the incidence of hypertension and associated risk factors between Mongolian and Han populations in northeast China.
Methods
A population-based sample of 4753 Mongolian subjects and 20,247 Han subjects aged ≥35 years and free from hypertension at baseline were followed from 2004–2006 to 2010. Incident hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure≥140 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg, or current use of antihypertensive medication.
Results
During mean 4.3 years follow-up, a total of 8779 individuals developed hypertension. The age-adjusted incidence of hypertension for Mongolian subjects was 12.64 per 100 person-years, for Han subjects was 9.77 per 100 person-years (P<0.05). The incidence of hypertension was positively correlated with age, physical activity, drinking, body mass index (BMI), family of hypertension and prehypertension in the Han population. In the Mongolian population, hypertension was positively correlated with age, physical activity, education level, drinking, BMI, prehypertension and family history of hypertension. The rates of awareness, treatment and control of hypertension for newly developed cases among both Han and Mongolian populations were low. (36.5% vs. 42.3%, 13.1% vs. 18.2%, 0.7% vs. 1.3%, P<0.05, respectively).
Conclusions
The incidence rate of hypertension is higher in the Mongolian populations than that in the Han populations, and hypertension in both ethnic populations was associated with similar risk factors. Our results suggest that most newly-diagnosed cases of hypertension are not adequately treated. Improvements in hypertension prevention and control programs in rural China are urgently needed.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086867
PMCID: PMC3906098  PMID: 24489797
22.  Association of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy With Incident Hypertension: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2011;173(8):898-905.
Increased left ventricular (LV) mass and changes in LV geometry may precede hypertension onset. The authors examined the associations of LV mass and geometry, assessed by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, with hypertension incidence in 2,567 normotensive participants enrolled in 2000–2002 in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, an ethnically diverse, population-based, US study. Over a median follow-up of 4.8 years, 745 (29%) participants developed hypertension. In a fully adjusted model including baseline blood pressure, the relative risks of incident hypertension from the lowest to highest LV mass quartile were 1.00 (referent), 1.13 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.89, 1.43), 1.28 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.63), and 1.78 (95% CI: 1.38, 2.30) (P < 0.001 for linear trend). Higher levels of LV concentric geometry, defined by higher LV mass to end-diastolic volume quartiles, were associated with higher risk of incident hypertension in a fully adjusted model (P = 0.044 for linear trend). In a final model containing both quartiles of LV mass and LV mass/volume along with all covariates including baseline blood pressure, higher LV mass quartiles were associated with incident hypertension (P < 0.001 for linear trend), whereas higher LV mass/volume quartiles were not (P = 0.643 for linear trend). In this multiethnic cohort, alterations in LV mass preceded hypertension onset among normotensive individuals.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwq509
PMCID: PMC3105258  PMID: 21422061
hypertension; hypertrophy, left ventricular; magnetic resonance imaging; risk factors
23.  Does leptin predict incident hypertension in older adults? 
Clinical endocrinology  2010;73(2):201-205.
Summary
Objective
Leptin is associated with blood pressure (BP) in experimental and cross-sectional studies, but only one previous prospective study of middle-aged men has reported the association between leptin and incident hypertension. We examined the association of leptin levels with incident hypertension in a population-based study of older men and women.
Design
Longitudinal cohort study
Population
Participants were 602 community-dwelling older adults with normal baseline BP levels who attended a research clinic visit between 1984 and 1987 and again 4.4 years later (mean age was 66.2±11.4; 60.6% were men; mean BMI 24.9±3.4 kg/m2).
Measurements
Hypertension was defined as systolic BP ≥140 mmHg and/or diastolic BP ≥90 mmHg and/or antihypertensive drug treatment. Leptin was measured by radioimmunoassay.
Results
After an average 4.4-year follow up (minimum 2 – maximum 7 years), 106 (17.6%) new cases of hypertension were identified. At baseline, participants who developed hypertension were older, and had higher systolic BP and higher total cholesterol compared to participants who remained normotensive. Baseline serum leptin levels were higher in participants who developed hypertension compared to persistent normotensives [median (25th – 75th range)] [8.8(5-16) vs. 7(4-11) ng/mL, P=0.002]. In logistic regression models, leptin (log-transformed) predicted incident hypertension before and after adjustments for baseline age, BMI, systolic BP, total cholesterol, medications, and previous cardiovascular disease (OR 1.75 95%CI 1.17-2.61, P = 0.006). This association persisted after exclusion of 45 obese participants.
Conclusion
Higher leptin levels were independently associated with increased odds of incident hypertension in older adults.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2265.2010.03781.x
PMCID: PMC2891171  PMID: 20148909
hypertension; leptin; obesity
24.  Estimating ethnic differences in self-reported new use of antidepressant medications: results from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Introduction
There is evidence that the utilization of antidepressant medications (ADM) may vary between different ethnic groups in the United States population.
Methods
The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis is a population-based prospective cohort study of 6,814 US adults from 4 different ethnic groups. After excluding baseline users of ADM, we examined the relation between baseline depression and new use of ADM for 4 different ethnicities: African-Americans (n=1,822), Asians (n=784) Caucasians (n=2,300), and Hispanics (n=1,405). Estimates of the association of ethnicity and ADM use were adjusted for age, study site, gender, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), alcohol use, smoking, blood pressure, diabetes, education, and exercise. Non-random loss to follow-up was present and estimates were adjusted using inverse probability of censoring weighting (IPCW).
Results
Of the four ethnicities, Caucasian participants had the highest rate of ADM use (12%) compared with African-American (4%), Asian (2%) and Hispanic (6%) participants. After adjustment, non-Caucasian ethnicity was associated with reduced ADM use: African-American (HR: 0.42; 95% Confidence Interval (CI):0.31– 0.58), Asian (HR: 0.14; 95%CI: 0.08–0.26) and Hispanic (HR: 0.47; 95%CI: 0.31–0.65). Applying IPCW to correct for non-random loss to follow-up among the study participants weakened but did not eliminate these associations: African-American (HR: 0.48; 95%CI: 0.30–0.57), Asian (HR: 0.23; 95% CI: 0.13–0.37) and Hispanic (HR: 0.58; 95%CI: 0.47–0.67).
Conclusion
Non-Caucasian ethnicity is associated with lower rates of new ADM use. After IPCW adjustment, the observed ethnicity differences in ADM use are smaller although still statistically significant.
doi:10.1002/pds.1751
PMCID: PMC2844249  PMID: 19399919
Inverse probability of censoring weighting; ethnicity; antidepressants; drug utilization; Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis; non-random loss to follow-up
25.  Novel Risk Factors in Long-term Hypertension Incidence in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus 
American heart journal  2010;159(6):1074-1080.
Background
Data from longitudinal studies suggest that biomarkers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction are associated with development of hypertension. None of these studies have examined the association of these markers with hypertension risk in persons with diabetes. We examined the associations of inflammatory and endothelial dysfunction markers with long-term hypertension incidence in persons with type 1 diabetes mellitus.
Methods
The 15-year cumulative incidence of hypertension was measured in Wisconsin Epidemiologic Study of Diabetic Retinopathy (WESDR) participants (n=795). Hypertension was defined by a systolic BP of ≥140 mmHg and/or a diastolic BP of ≥90 mmHg and/or history of current antihypertensive treatment. We measured serum high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), and serum total homocysteine as “novel” markers of hypertension development. The relation of risk factors to hypertension incidence was determined using a proportional hazards approach with discrete linear logistic regression modeling.
Results
After controlling for age, gender, diabetes duration, body mass index, glycosylated hemoglobin, baseline systolic and diastolic blood pressure, proteinuria, and chronic kidney disease status, sVCAM-1 was significantly related to higher odds of developing incident hypertension (OR per log sVCAM-1 1.95; 95% CI 1.01–3.74). None of the other markers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction were related to incident hypertension in the cohort.
Conclusions
Our data showed that sVCAM-1 as a marker of endothelial dysfunction was the strongest predictor of hypertension risk in individuals with type 1 diabetes. This association was independent of the presence of diabetic nephropathy.
doi:10.1016/j.ahj.2010.03.023
PMCID: PMC2891971  PMID: 20569722

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