Maintaining a healthy diet, combined with exercise and weight control, can help reduce blood pressure levels and, consequently, your risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), later in life, a new analysis of data pooled from seven cohort study shows.
In other words, an increase or decrease in your blood pressure during middle age can significantly impact your lifetime risk for CVD.
Researchers, using data from 61,585 participants in the Cardiovascular Lifetime Risk Pooling Project,
Reasearchers, led by Norrina Allen, tracked blood pressure changes of 61,585 participants in the Cardiovascular Lifetime Risk Pooling Project, starting with baseline blood pressure readings from an average of 14 years before and until age 55. They then continued to follow the patients until the occurrence of a first cardiovascular event (including heart attack or stroke), death or age 95.
They found people who maintained or reduced their blood pressure to normal levels by age 55 had the lowest lifetime risk for CVD (between 22 percent to 41 percent risk).
In contrast, those who had already developed high blood pressure by age 55 had a higher lifetime risk (between 42 percent to 69 percent risk).
Researchers also found:
- Almost 70 percent of all men who develop high blood pressure in middle age will experience a CVD event by 85.
- Women who develop high blood pressure by early middle-age (average age 41) have a higher lifetime risk for CVD (49.4 percent) than those who have maintained normal blood pressure up to age 55.
- Women, in general, had higher increases in blood pressure during middle age.
- At an average age 55, 25.7 percent of men and 40.8 percent of women had normal blood pressure levels; 49.4 percent of men and 47.5 of women had prehypertension.
- The overall lifetime CVD risk for people 55 years or older was 52.5 percent for men and 39.9 percent for women, when factoring in all blood pressure levels.
- The lifetime risk for CVD was higher among Blacks compared with Whites of the same sex, and increased with rising blood pressure at middle age.
Thus prevention efforts should continue to emphasize the importance of lowering BP andavoiding or delaying the incidence of hypertension in order to reduce the lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease
<<< * >>>
The above story is reprinted with editorial adaptation by the Zestzfulness Team from materials in the online edition of Circulation published by the American Heart Association.
The article has been published online December 8, 2011: Allen N, Berry J, Ning H, et al. Impact of blood pressure and blood pressure change during middle age on the remaining lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease the cardiovascular lifetime risk pooling project. Circulation 2012;DOI:10.1161/