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Hypertension. 2012 Feb;59(2):219-25. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.111.184101. Epub 2011 Dec 27.

Rate of decline of forced vital capacity predicts future arterial hypertension: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 1300 South Second St, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA. jacob004@umn.edu


Lung function studies in middle-aged subjects predict cardiovascular disease mortality. We studied whether greater loss of forced vital capacity (FVC) early in life predicted incident hypertension. The sample was 3205 black and white men and women in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study examined between 1985 and 1986 (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults year 0, ages 18-30 years) and 2005-2006 and who were not hypertensive by year 10. FVC was assessed at years 0, 2, 5, 10, and 20. Proportional hazard ratios and linear regression models predicted incident hypertension at years 15 or 20 (n=508) from the change in FVC (FVC at year 10 - peak FVC, where peak FVC was estimated as the maximum across years 0, 2, 5, and 10). Covariates included demographics, center, systolic blood pressure, FVC maximum, smoking, physical activity, asthma, and body mass index. Unadjusted cumulative incident hypertension was 25% in the lowest FVC loss quartile (Q1; median loss: 370 mL) compared with 12% cumulative incident hypertension in those who achieved peak FVC at year 10 (Q4). Minimally adjusted hazard ratio for Q1 versus Q4 was 2.21 (95% CI: 1.73-2.83), and this association remained significant in the fully adjusted model (1.37; 95% CI: 1.05-1.80). Decline in FVC from average age at peak (29.4 years) to 35 years old predicted incident hypertension between average ages 35 and 45 years. The findings may represent a common pathway that may link low normal FVC to cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality.

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