ARTICLE: Diastolic Blood Pressure, Subclinical Myocardial Damage, and Cardiac Events: Implications for Blood Pressure Control

AUTHORS: John W. McEvoy, Yuan Chen, Andreea Rawlings, Ron C. Hoogeveen, Christie M. Ballantyne, Roger S. BlumenthalJosef CoreshElizabeth Selvin

JOURNAL: J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016 Oct 18;68(16):1713-1722. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2016.07.754. Epub 2016 Aug 30.


BACKGROUND: The optimal systolic blood pressure (SBP) treatment goal is in question, with SPRINT (Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial) suggesting benefit for 120 mm Hg. However, achieving an SBP this low may reduce diastolic blood pressure (DBP) to levels that could compromise myocardial perfusion.

OBJECTIVES: This study sought to examine the independent association of DBP with myocardial damage (using high-sensitivity cardiactroponin-T [hs-cTnT]) and with coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, or death over 21 years.

METHODS: The authors studied 11,565 adults from the ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities) cohort, analyzing DBP and hs-cTnT associations as well as prospective associations between DBP and events.

RESULTS: Mean baseline age was 57 years, 57% of patients were female, and 25% were black. Compared with persons who had DBP between 80 to 89 mm Hg at baseline (ARIC visit 2), the adjusted odds ratio of having hs-cTnT ≥14 ng/l at that visit was 2.2 and 1.5 in those with DBP <60 mm Hg and 60 to 69 mm Hg, respectively. Low DBP at baseline was also independently associated with progressive myocardial damage on the basis of estimated annual change in hs-cTnT over the 6 years between ARIC visits 2 and 4. In addition, compared with a DBP of 80 to 89 mm Hg, a DBP <60 mm Hg was associated with incident CHD and mortality, but not with stroke. The DBP and incident CHD association was strongest with baseline hs-cTnT ≥14 ng/l (p value for interaction <0.001). Associations of low DBP with prevalent hs-cTnT and incident CHD were most pronounced among patients with baseline SBP ≥120 mm Hg.

CONCLUSIONS: Particularly among adults with an SBP ≥120 mm Hg, and thus elevated pulse pressure, low DBP was associated with subclinical myocardial damage and CHD events. When titrating treatment to SBP <140 mm Hg, it may be prudent to ensure that DBP levels do not fall below 70 mm Hg, and particularly not below 60 mm Hg.

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