Implications of Small Reductions in Diastolic Blood Pressure for Primary Prevention

Nancy R. Cook, ScD; Jerome Cohen, MD; Patricia R. Hebert, PhD; James O. Taylor, MD; Charles H. Hennekens, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1995;155(7):701-709. doi:10.1001/archinte.1995.00430070053006.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Objectives:  To estimate the impact of small reductions in the population distribution of diastolic blood pressure (DBP), such as those potentially achievable by population-wide lifestyle modification, on incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke.

Design:  Published data from the Framingham Heart Study, a longitudinal cohort study, and from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey II, a national population survey, were used to examine the impact of a population-wide strategy aimed at reducing DBP by an average of 2 mm Hg in a population including normotensive subjects.

Setting/Participants:  White men and women aged 35 to 64 years in the United States.

Main Outcome Measures:  Incidence of CHD and stroke, including transient ischemic attacks (TIAs).

Results:  Data from overviews of observational studies and randomized trials suggest that a 2—mm Hg reduction in DBP would result in a 17% decrease in the prevalence of hypertension as well as a 6% reduction in the risk of CHD and a 15% reduction in risk of stroke and TIAs. From an application of these results to US white men and women aged 35 to 64 years, it is estimated that a successful population intervention alone could reduce CHD incidence more than could medical treatment for all those with a DBP of 95 mm Hg or higher. It could prevent 84% of the number prevented by medical treatment for all those with a DBP of 90 mm Hg or higher. For stroke (including TIAs), a population-wide 2—mm Hg reduction could prevent 93% of events prevented by medical treatment for those with a DBP of 95 mm Hg or higher and 69% of events for treatment for those with a DBP of 90 mm Hg or higher. A combination strategy of both a population reduction in DBP and targeted medical intervention is most effective and could double or triple the impact of medical treatment alone. Adding a population-based intervention to existing levels of hypertension treatment could prevent an estimated additional 67 000 CHD events (6%) and 34 000 stroke and TIA events (13%) annually among all those aged 35 to 64 years in the United States.

Conclusions:  A small reduction of 2 mm Hg in DBP in the mean of the population distribution, in addition to medical treatment, could have a great public health impact on the number of CHD and stroke events prevented. Whether such DBP reductions can be achieved in the population through lifestyle interventions, in particular through sodium reduction, depends on the results of ongoing primary prevention trials as well as the cooperation of the food industry, government agencies, and health education professionals.(Arch Intern Med. 1995;155:701-709)


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours





Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Submit a Comment


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Web of Science® Times Cited: 276

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.