Background: The exact form of the association between systolic blood pressure (SBP) and heart failure (HF) risk in the elderly remains incompletely defined, especially in individuals not receiving antihypertensive drugs. Objective: To examine the association between SBP and HF risk in the elderly. Design: Competing-risks proportional hazards modelling of incident HF risk, using 10-year follow-up data from two NIH-sponsored cohort studies: the Cardiovascular Health Study (inception: 1989-90 and 1992-3) and the Health ABC Study (inception: 1997-8). Setting: Community-based cohorts. Participants: 4408 participants (age, 72.8 (4.9) years; 53.1% women, 81.7% white; 18.3% black) without prevalent HF and not receiving antihypertensive drugs at baseline. Main outcome measures: Incident HF, defined as first adjudicated hospitalisation for HF. Results: Over 10 years, 493 (11.2%) participants developed HF. Prehypertension (120-139 mm Hg), stage 1 (140-159 mm Hg), and stage 2 (≥160 mm Hg) hypertension were associated with escalating HF risk; HRs versus optimal SBP (<120 mm Hg) in competing-risks models controlling for clinical characteristics were 1.63 (95% CI 1.23 to 2.16; p=0.001), 2.21 (95% CI 1.65 to 2.96; p<0.001) and 2.60 (95% CI 1.85 to 3.64; p<0.001), respectively. Overall 255/493 (51.7%) HF events occurred in participants with SBP <140 mm Hg at baseline. Increasing SBP was associated with higher HF risk in women than in men; no race - SBP interaction was seen. In analyses with continuous SBP, HF risk had a continuous positive association with SBP to levels as low as 113 mm Hg in men and 112 mm Hg in women. Conclusions: There is a continuous positive association between SBP and HF risk in the elderly for levels of SBP as low as <115 mm Hg; over half of incident HF events occur in individuals with SBP <140 mm Hg.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine