Current models to predict cardiovascular disease consider blood pressure (BP) at the time of prediction, rather than factoring in cumulative blood pressure over time. Norrina B, Allen, from Northwestern University (Illinois, USA), and colleagues completed a 25-year long study involving 4,681 men and women enrolled in the CARDIA study, ages 18 to 30 years at the study’s start. The team followed systolic BP, diastolic BP, and mid-BP (important marker of coronary heart disease risk among younger populations) at the study’s start and years 2, 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, and 25. Compared to participants with the best blood pressure profiles over the 25-year follow-up (low-stable group), those with the worst profiles (elevated-increasing blood pressure) were 3.7-times as likely to have a coronary artery calcification score of 100 HU or greater. Observing that: “Blood pressure trajectories throughout young adulthood vary, and higher [blood pressure] trajectories were associated with an increased risk of [coronary artery calcification] in middle age.,” the study authors submit that: “Long-term trajectories in [blood pressure] may assist in more accurate identification of individuals with subclinical atherosclerosis.”
Allen NB, Siddique J, Wilkins JT, Shay C, Lewis CE, et al. “Blood pressure trajectories in early adulthood and subclinical atherosclerosis in middle age.” JAMA. 2014 Feb 5;311(5):490-7.
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