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Maintenance of Normal Blood Pressure From Middle to Older Age: Results From the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.

Hypertension 2024 April 4
BACKGROUND: It is unknown whether maintaining normal blood pressure (BP) from middle to older age is associated with improved health outcomes.

METHODS: We estimated the proportion of Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study participants who maintained normal BP from 1987 to 1989 (visit 1) through 1996 to 1998 and 2011 to 2013 (over 4 and 5 visits, respectively). Normal BP was defined as systolic BP <120 mm Hg and diastolic BP <80 mm Hg, without antihypertensive medication. We estimated the risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, and poor physical functioning after visit 5. In exploratory analyses, we examined participant characteristics associated with maintaining normal BP.

RESULTS: Among 2699 participants with normal BP at baseline (mean age 51.3 years), 47.1% and 15.0% maintained normal BP through visits 4 and 5, respectively. The hazard ratios comparing participants who maintained normal BP through visit 4 but not visit 5 and through visit 5 versus those who did not maintain normal BP through visit 4 were 0.80 (95% CI, 0.63-1.03) and 0.60 (95% CI, 0.42-0.86), respectively, for cardiovascular disease, and 0.85 (95% CI, 0.71-1.01) and 0.69 (95% CI, 0.54-0.90), respectively, for poor physical functioning. Maintaining normal BP through visit 5 was more common among participants with normal body mass index versus obesity at visit 1, those with normal body mass index at visits 1 and 5, and those with overweight at visit 1 and overweight or normal body mass index at visit 5, compared with those with obesity at visits 1 and 5.

CONCLUSIONS: Maintaining normal BP was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and poor physical functioning.

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