It is unclear what thresholds and targets of office blood pressure (BP) for treatment are appropriate in younger (<50 years old) hypertensive patients. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate associations of office BP levels with major cardiovascular events (MACEs) in these patients.
Using the Korean National Health Insurance Service database, data of 98 192 younger (<50 years old) hypertensive patients having BP measurements available without any history of cardiovascular events from 2002 to 2011 were extracted. This cohort study evaluated associations of BP levels (<120/<70, 120–129/70–79, 130–139/80–89, 140–149/90–99, and ≥150/≥100 mmHg) with MACEs. The study outcome was MACE, a composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, and heart failure.
In all patients, those treated with antihypertensive medication accounted for 34.7% and those who achieved BP less than 130/80 mmHg accounted for 35.5%. During a mean follow-up of 9.5 ± 2.8 years, 4918 (5%) MACEs were documented in our cohort. The risk of MACE was the lowest [adjusted hazard ratio: 0.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.66–0.89] for those with BP level of less than 120/less than 70 mmHg. It was the highest (hazard ratio 2.0, 95% CI 1.83–2.19) for those with BP level of at least 150/at least 100 mmHg in comparison with those with BP level of 130–139/80–89 mmHg. These results were consistent for all age groups (20–29, 30–39, and 40–49 years) and both sexes.
Elevated BP level from less than 120 mmHg/less than 70 mmHg is significantly correlated with an increased risk of MACE in younger (<50 years old) Korean hypertensive patients. Lowering BP to less than 120 mmHg/less than 70 mmHg is needed for these patients.