Tight versus standard blood pressure control on the incidence of myocardial infarction and stroke: an observational retrospective cohort study in the general ambulatory setting

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BMC family practice


BACKGROUND: The 2017 American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association guideline defined hypertension as blood pressure (BP) ≥ 130/80 mmHg compared to the traditional definition of ≥140/90 mmHg. This change raised much controversy. We conducted this study to compare the impact of tight (TBPC) versus standard BP control (SBPC) on the incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke.

METHODS: We retrospectively identified all hypertensive patients in an ambulatory setting based on the diagnostic code for 1 year at our institution who were classified by the range of BP across 3 years into 2 groups of TBPC (< 130 mmHg) and SBPC (130-139 mmHg). We compared the incidence of new MI and stroke between the 2 groups across a 2-year follow-up. Multivariate analysis was done to identify independent predictors for the incidence of new MI and stroke.

RESULTS: Of 5640 study patients, the TBPC group showed significantly less incidence of stroke compared to the SBPC group (1.5% vs. 2.7%, P < 0.010). No differences were found in MI incidence between the 2 groups (0.6% vs. 0.8%, P = 0.476). Multivariate analysis showed that increased age independently increased the incidence of both MI (OR 1.518, 95% CI 1.038-2.219) and stroke (OR 1.876, 95% CI 1.474-2.387), and TBPC independently decreased the incidence of stroke (OR 0.583, 95% CI 0.374-0.910) but not of MI.

CONCLUSIONS: Our observational study suggests that TBPC may be beneficial in less stroke incidence compared to SBPC but it didn't seem to affect the incidence of MI. Our study is limited by its retrospective design with potential confounders.

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