High-Normal Blood Pressure and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Department of Preventive Cardiology, National Cardiovascular Center, Suita, Japan.
Circulation Journal (Impact Factor: 3.94). 09/2009; 73(8):1381-5. DOI: 10.1253/circj.CJ-09-0336
Source: PubMed


The guidelines of the Joint National Committee 7 from the USA on hypertension have unified the normal and high-normal blood pressure categories into a single entity termed ;prehypertension'. In contrast, The European Guidelines for the management of hypertension in 2007 considered ;prehypertensive' to be divided into normal and high-normal blood pressure. These patients with high-normal blood pressure or prehypertension might progress to hypertension over time. Previous studies have shown that high-normal blood pressure is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Western countries and Japan. The combination of high-normal blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors increases the risks of CVD. Recently, metabolic syndrome has also been shown to be a risk factor for CVD. In Japan, the association between metabolic syndrome and CVD was also found to be significant. The risks for CVD incidence were similar among participants who had the same number of components, regardless of the presence of abdominal obesity. In the Japanese guidelines for the management of hypertension published in 2009, patients are considered to be in a high-risk group if they have diabetes, chronic kidney disease, 3 or more risk factors, target organ damage or CVD, even if they have only high-normal blood pressure, and appropriate antihypertensive therapy should be initiated.

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    • "Metabolic syndrome comprises a cluster of components of impaired glucose metabolism, abdominal fat accumulation, dyslipidemia, and elevated blood pressure [1]. Each component has been shown to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in Japanese community cohort studies: impaired fasting glucose [2]; abdominal obesity [3, 4]; low-density lipoprotein cholesterol [5, 6]; and high-normal blood pressure [7–9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Metabolic disorder is a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVD), and lifestyle modification is the key to improving metabolic disorder. Diabetes mellitus has been shown to be a risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD) and ischemic stroke in both Western and Japanese populations. An association between impaired fasting glucose and pre-hypertension found in an urban Japanese population emphasized the combined risk of CVD. Mean total cholesterol levels in Japan have been increasing in the last three decades. The Japanese evidence for the positive association of total cholesterol with CHD is similar to that in the West. Higher low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels pose an increased risk of CHD and atherothrombotic infarction, whereas lower LDL-C levels may pose an increased risk of intracerebral hemorrhage in Japan. Overall, the studies reviewed here show that impaired glucose metabolism and dyslipidemia are emerging risk factors for CVD in the Japanese population.
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    ABSTRACT: Few prospective studies have examined the combined impact of blood pressure (BP) categories and glucose abnormalities on the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the general Asian population. This study aimed to examine the effect of the combined risks of these factors on the incidence of CVD in a general Japanese population. We studied 5321 Japanese individuals (aged 30-79 years), without CVD at baseline, who received follow-up for an average of 11.7 years. Serum fasting glucose categories were defined according to the 2003 American Diabetes Association recommendations. BP categories were defined by the 2009 Japanese Society of Hypertension Guidelines for the Management of Hypertension. The Cox proportional hazard ratios (HRs) for CVD according to the serum glucose and BP categories were calculated. In 62,036 person-years of follow-up, we documented 364 CVD events (198 stroke and 166 coronary heart disease (CHD)). Compared with normoglycemic subjects, the multivariable HRs (95% confidence intervals (CIs)) for CVD, CHD and stroke were 1.25 (1.00-1.58), 1.46 (1.04-2.04) and 1.11 (0.81-1.52), respectively, in individuals with impaired fasting glucose (IFG), whereas these values were 2.13 (1.50-3.03), 2.28 (1.34-3.88) and 2.08 (1.29-3.35), respectively, in individuals with diabetes mellitus (DM). Compared with normoglycemic and optimal blood pressure (BP) subjects, increased risks of CVD were observed in the normoglycemic subjects with high-normal BP or hypertension, the IFG subjects with normal or higher BP, and the DM subjects regardless of BP category (P-value for interaction=0.046). In conclusion, the high-normal BP subjects in all glucose categories and the normal BP subjects with IFG showed increased risk of CVD in this Japanese population. Further investigation of larger cohorts of DM subjects should be conducted to better understand this phenomenon.
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