Hypertension is an established risk factor of cardiovascular diseases, and in clinical studies its treatment has reduced cardiovascular complications in subjects up to 80 years of age. In the older age groups, prognostic data on blood pressure is sparse. We evaluated the prognostic significance of different blood pressure levels and the history of elevated blood pressure in an older population.
In the Helsinki Ageing Study random individuals 75, 80, and 85 years of age (n = 521) were evaluated at baseline using postal questionnaires, structured interviews, clinical examinations, laboratory investigations, and blood pressure measurements (supine, seated, standing). Date of death during a 5-year follow-up was verified using computerized registers, and thus the follow-up was 100% complete. The data were analysed using life-table analyses and Cox proportional hazards models.
At 5 years, 240 subjects (40%) had died, 50% of them of cardiovascular disease. In crude analyses, an inverse relationship between both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and mortality was observed in all groups combined (P
Comment In: Eur Heart J. 1997 Jun;18(6):889-909183574