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Hypertension. 2003 Nov;42(5):885-90. Epub 2003 Oct 13.

Blood pressure lowering and life expectancy based on a Markov model of cardiovascular events.

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  • 1Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 900 Commonwealth Ave East, Boston, Mass 02215-1204, USA. hsesso@hsph.harvard.edu

Abstract

The life expectancy benefits of antihypertensive treatment, based on both systolic and diastolic blood pressure reduction, was estimated with a cardiovascular disease event Markov model with prospective data from 57 573 men and women. Seven patient states were defined, including (1) no cardiovascular disease, (2) stroke, (3) myocardial infarction, (4) revascularization, (5) history of cardiovascular disease, (6) noncardiovascular disease death, and (7) cardiovascular death. Risk functions were developed from gender-specific multivariate Cox proportional hazards models for primary events and age-, smoking-, and diabetes-adjusted models for secondary events. At baseline we assumed (1) hypothetical pretreatment blood pressures of 160/95 or 150/90 mm Hg; (2) strategies A and B lower blood pressure by 20/13 and 13/8 mm Hg, respectively; and (3) baseline age of 35 years. For subjects initially at 160/95 mm Hg, those with antihypertensive treatment, antihypertensive treatment and diabetes, or antihypertensive treatment, diabetes, and currently smoking had corresponding gains in life expectancy of 2.43, 2.80, and 2.43 years for Strategy A. An initial blood pressure of 150/90 mm Hg resulted in similar gains. Compared with Strategy B, with blood pressure reductions of 13/8 mm Hg, Strategy A provided additional gains in life expectancy of 0.84, 0.99, and 0.87 years for those with antihypertensive treatment, antihypertensive treatment and diabetes, or antihypertensive treatment, diabetes, and currently smoking. The initial blood pressure level did not affect the magnitude of life expectancy gains for equivalent blood pressure reductions. Greater gains in life expectancy among hypertensive and diabetic women suggest that blood pressure lowering may yield greater benefits in selected subgroups.

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