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Blood Pressure Trajectory Over 25 Years Predicts Atherosclerosis Risk — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
February 5, 2014

Blood Pressure Trajectory Over 25 Years Predicts Atherosclerosis Risk

By Larry Husten

Long-term patterns in blood pressure beginning in young adulthood might help identify patients at risk for developing coronary artery calcium, according to a JAMA study.

Researchers studied some 3500 adults aged 18 to 30 at baseline who had multiple blood pressure measurements over the next 25 years. At the end of follow-up, participants had a CT scan to measure their coronary artery calcium score; a score of 100 or greater was considered to be evidence of subclinical atherosclerosis.

Compared with patients who had low blood pressure throughout the study, those who had relatively elevated blood pressure throughout the study had a 2.5-fold increase in risk for atherosclerosis, and those with high blood pressure throughout the study had a 4-fold increase in risk.

The investigators note that most participants with elevated blood pressure did not meet the definition for actual hypertension but fell within the range of prehypertension (blood pressure between 120/80 mm Hg and 139/89 mm Hg).

Adapted from CardioExchange

Reader Comments (2)

CAROL VASSAR Physician, Endocrinology, private practice

Is this anything new? We know that HTN increases the risk of CAD and stroke. We know that elevated blood pressure short of 140/90 does to a lesser degree. We know that fatty streaks show up early in life and that plaque is found before age 43, (18 + 25) What is the contribution of this study?

Joseph Blunk MD Physician, Anesthesiology, Retired/Disabled

It was so very refreshing to read your comment. Now that I have time to read the literature in ALL fields of Medicine, I have the same feelings you expressed about many redundent and otherwise nonexpanding of knowledge articles.

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