Abstract 2400: Increased White Blood Cell Count Predicts Long-Term Fatal Outcomes in Elderly Hypertensives: 14-Year Follow-Up of the Systolic Hypertension in Elderly Program (SHEP)
Objective. To assess if white blood cell count (WBC), as a marker of chronic inflammation, predicts long term fatal outcomes in patients with isolated systolic hypertension (ISH).
Study design. Retrospective analysis of the SHEP database of 4,736 patients age >60 years and ISH and subsequent vital status assessment by matching to the National Death Index.
Results. At study entry WBC was significantly higher in patients age <72 (vs. age <72), men (vs. women), whites (vs. blacks), smokers (vs. nonsmokers), pulse pressure >86, heart rate >71, BMI>27.5, present carotid bruits, previous history of alcohol use, myocardial infarction and angina. There was no significant difference of WBC at baseline between the treated and the placebo group. Over 14.3 years mean follow-up, baseline WBC predicted significantly all cause mortality and cardiovascular death, but not stroke death. There was no interaction between the increased baseline WBC and the assignment to treatment (antihypertensive drugs or placebo) for predicting long term fatal all cause mortality.
Conclusion. In SHEP increased WBC predicted long term fatal outcomes in the elderly with ISH independent of treatment assignment.