Lifetime Risks for Hypertension by Contemporary Guidelines in African American and White Men and Women

Vincent Chen, Hongyan Ning, Norrina Allen, Kiarri Kershaw, Sadiya Khan, Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, John T. Wilkins*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Importance: Patterns of hypertension risk development over the adult lifespan and lifetime risks for hypertension under the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology (AHA/ACC) 2017 thresholds for hypertension (≥130/80 mm Hg) are unknown. Objective: To quantify and compare lifetime risks for hypertension in white and African American men and women under the AHA/ACC 2017 and the Seventh Joint National Commission (JNC7) hypertension thresholds. Design, Setting, and Participants: We used individual-level pooled data from 3 contemporary cohorts in the Cardiovascular Lifetime Risk Pooling Project: the Framingham Offspring Study, the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study, and Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. These community-based cohorts included white and African American men and women with blood pressure assessment at multiple cohort examinations. Main Outcomes and Measures: Cumulative lifetime risk for hypertension from ages 20 through 85 years, adjusted for competing risk of death and baseline hypertension prevalence. Incident hypertension under the AHA/ACC threshold was defined by a single-occasion blood pressure measurement of 130/80 mm Hg or more or self-reported use of antihypertensive medications. Incident hypertension under the JNC7 threshold was defined by a single-occasion blood pressure measurement of 140/90 mm Hg or more or the use of antihypertensive medications. Results: A total of 13160 participants contributed 227600 person-years of follow-up; the data set included individual-level data on 6313 participants at baseline (median age, 25 years), plus person-year data from participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities and Framingham Offspring studies who enrolled at older ages. Baseline prevalence of hypertension under the AHA/ACC 2017 threshold in participants entering the data set between 20 and 30 years of age was 30.7% in white men (n = 549 of 1790), 23.1% in African American men (n = 245 of 1063), 10.2% in white women (n = 210 of 2070), and 12.3% in African American women (n = 171 of 1390). White men had lifetime risk of hypertension of 83.8% (95% CI, 82.5%-85.0%); African American men, 86.1% (95% CI, 84.1%-88.1%); white women, 69.3% (95% CI, 67.8%-70.7%); and African American women, 85.7% (95% CI, 84.0%-87.5%). These were greater than corresponding lifetime risks under the JNC7 threshold for hypertension (white men, 60.5% [95% CI, 58.9%-62.1%]; African American men, 74.7% [95% CI, 71.9%-77.5%]; white women, 53.9% [95% CI, 52.5%-55.4%]; and African American women, 77.3% [95% CI, 75.0%-79.5%]). Conclusions and Relevance: Under the AHA/ACC 2017 blood pressure threshold for hypertension, lifetime risks for hypertension exceeded 75% for African American men and women and white men. Furthermore, prevalence of blood pressure of 130/80 mm Hg or more is very high in young adulthood, suggesting that efforts to prevent development of hypertension should be focused early in the life course..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-459
Number of pages5
JournalJAMA cardiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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