High systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements could independently predict risk for adverse cardiovascular events in future, according to a retrospective study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Roughly 1.3 million adults had their blood pressure taken on at least three separate occasions (median number of measurements, 22). Systolic hypertension (at least 140 mm Hg) and diastolic hypertension (at least 90 mm Hg) were each associated with increased risk for a composite of myocardial infarction and stroke over 8 years, but systolic BP had a greater effect. The risk was still elevated when a threshold of 130/80 mm Hg or higher was used.
The authors concluded that although systolic blood-pressure elevation had a greater effect on outcomes, both systolic and diastolic hypertension independently influenced the risk of adverse cardiovascular events, regardless of the definition of hypertension (≥140/90 mm Hg or ≥130/80 mm Hg).
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Source: NEJM Journal Watch and NEJM