Sunday, February 12, 2006

Systolic BP trumps diastolic BP in the elderly

A study was conducted to clarify the relationship between mortality due to cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) in young and elderly Japanese men in the absence of antihypertensive treatments.

  • Both SBP and DBP levels were significantly and linearly related to CVD mortality in the age groups 30-64 years.
  • In those at least 75 years old, however, no significant increase in the relative risk of CVD was observed with increasing DBP levels, whereas the relative risk of CVD increased significantly with increasing SBP levels.
  • Adjusting for major risk factors confirmed these relationships.

These data show that elevated SBP is an independent risk factor for CVD mortality for Japanese men of all ages, whereas elevated DBP is not an independent risk factor for CVD mortality for elderly men.

The old adage that your systolic BP (top number) can go up 10 mmHg per decade of life without ramifications is proven wrong again.

Drugs that treat the angiotensin system and calcium channels are excellent choices for managing systolic hypertension. Salt reduction can also reduce systolic hypertension.


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