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J Hypertens. 1995 Apr;13(4):413-9.

Measures of blood pressure and myocardial infarction in treated hypertensive patients.

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Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York 10461, USA.



To identify entry characteristics associated with subsequent myocardial infarction in treated hypertensive patients.


Nested case-control study and cohort study.


The 5730 participants (mean age 53 years; 61% male and 45% Caucasian) were selected from a worksite-based, union-sponsored, systematic hypertension control program from 1973 to 1992.


In the case-control study myocardial infarction cases were matched by age, sex, year of entry to the program, years of follow-up and previous treatment status (treated or untreated) with non-event subjects. Baseline clinical and biochemical characteristics were analyzed with regard to the outcome of myocardial infarction, using univariate and multivariate analyses, respectively, in case-control and cohort studies.


During 5.43 years of follow-up the incidence of myocardial infarction was 6.75/1000 person-years. Univariate analysis indicated that myocardial infarction cases had higher cholesterol level and were more likely to have a previous history of diabetes than controls. The initial systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure of cases were significantly higher than in controls. Logistic regression models indicated that initial pulse pressure, either as a continuous or as a categorical variable, was the only measure of blood pressure independently associated with myocardial infarction after adjustment for other risk factors. Analysis of the experience of the total 5730 as well as 2445 previously untreated patients with a cohort study generated identical results.


A large pulse pressure difference appears to be the most powerful measure available of initial blood pressure to identify, in advance, those hypertensive patients at greatest risk for a subsequent myocardial infarction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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