Exercise Blood Pressure and Future Cardiovascular Death in Asymptomatic Individuals
Background— Individuals with exaggerated exercise blood pressure (BP) tend to develop future hypertension. It is controversial whether they have higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Methods and Results— A total of 6578 asymptomatic Lipid Research Clinics Prevalence Study participants (45% women; mean age, 46 years; 74% with untreated baseline BP <140/90 mm Hg [nonhypertensive]) performing submaximal Bruce treadmill tests were followed for 20 years (385 CVD deaths occurred). Systolic and diastolic BP at rest, Bruce stage 2, and maximal BP during exercise were significantly associated with CVD death. When we compared multivariate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals per 10/5-mm Hg BP increments, the association was strongest for rest BP (systolic, 1.21 [1.14 to 1.27]; diastolic, 1.20 [1.14 to 1.26]), then Bruce stage 2 BP (systolic, 1.09 [1.04 to 1.14]; diastolic, 1.09 [1.05 to 1.13]), then maximal exercise BP (systolic, 1.06 [1.01 to 1.10]; diastolic, 1.04 [1.01 to 1.08]). Overall, exercise BP was not significant after adjustment for rest BP. However, hypertension status modified the risk associated with exercise BP (Pinteraction=0.03). Among nonhypertensives, whether they had normal BP (<120/80 mm Hg) or prehypertension, Bruce stage 2 BP >180/90 versus ≤180/90 mm Hg carried increased risk independent of rest BP and risk factors (adjusted hazard ratio for systolic, 1.96 [1.40 to 2.74], P<0.001; diastolic, 1.48 [1.06 to 2.06], P=0.02) and added predictive value (net reclassification improvement, systolic, 12.0% [−0.1% to 24.2%]; diastolic, 9.9% [−0.3% to 20.0%]; relative integrated discrimination improvement, 14.3% and 12.0%, respectively).
Conclusions— In asymptomatic individuals, elevated exercise BP carried higher risk of CVD death but became nonsignificant after accounting for rest BP. However, Bruce stage 2 BP >180/90 mm Hg identified nonhypertensive individuals at higher risk of CVD death.
Received July 21, 2009; accepted March 25, 2010.
Blood pressure (BP) response to exercise has been studied in relation to incident hypertension. Several studies found that nonhypertensive individuals with exaggerated BP responses during Bruce and ergonomic stress protocols are more likely to develop clinical hypertension compared with those with a normal BP response.1–3 Subsequently, several studies examined whether exercise BP in healthy individuals predicts future morbidity and death from cardiovascular disease (CVD), the results of which have varied, depending in part on the stage of exercise when BP was measured.
Clinical Perspective on p 2116
Fagard and colleagues4 first noted that neither submaximal nor maximal exercise BP yielded additive prognostic information over baseline BP for CVD or all-cause mortality in their study of 143 hypertensive men. Contrarily, others found that exaggerated submaximal exercise BP was associated with future CVD death independent of rest BP,5–7 although, in many of these studies, the ability of exercise BP to predict death was attenuated once BP was measured at maximum capacity.5,7 A recent analysis from the Framingham Offspring Study found that exercise diastolic BP, but not systolic BP, measured at low-level exercise (stage 2 Bruce protocol) was associated with CVD events independent of other risk factors and baseline BP.8 Given these conflicting data on the association with CVD end points, the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines on exercise testing included exercise-induced hypertension as a marker for future clinical hypertension but did not link it with CVD or mortality outcomes.9
Therefore, the present study sought to evaluate whether exaggerated systolic or diastolic BP attained at low and submaximal exercise was associated with future CVD death in a large population of healthy men and women. We also sought to determine whether exercise BP response provided incremental risk information to baseline BP and other risk factors.
Participants were derived from the Lipid Research Clinics Prevalence Study, a prospective cohort of North American individuals across 10 geographic locations and diverse socioeconomic and occupational groups, as described previously.10,11 Briefly, participants were recruited from selected target populations in North America meant to provide a cross-sectional view by virtue of size and economic and geographic diversity. The populations fell into 3 broad categories: occupational groups, household or residential groups, and parents of school children. Recruited individuals were screened at visit 1 for triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Participants with elevated lipids, as well as an additional random sample of all who participated and subjects with borderline hyperlipidemia, were asked to return for visit 2. In total, the random sample constituted 58.4% of the total study participants. A comprehensive medical history, physical examination, fasting blood samples, resting ECG, and exercise treadmill test were obtained at baseline visit 2 (1972–1976). Participants were ineligible if pregnant, if they had evidence of current or past myocardial ischemia or coronary artery bypass surgery, if they had baseline systolic BP <90 or >200 mm Hg or diastolic BP >120 mm Hg, or if they were deemed ineligible for exercise testing by the study physicians.
Altogether, 8652 of 13 852 individuals screened underwent baseline exercise tests. Of these, we additionally excluded 1877 individuals to reduce potential confounding by preexisting disease or comorbidity for the following reasons: exercise duration <1 minute, known or suspected CVD (myocardial infarction, angina, stroke, claudication, heart surgery, congestive heart failure, or digitalis use), baseline age <30 or >70 years, treadmill test other than Bruce protocol, and those lost to follow-up (n=6). Another 197 individuals were excluded because of missing baseline or exercise BP measurements, resulting in 6578 individuals for this analysis.
Follow-up was until death or December 31, 1995. The primary outcome of this study was CVD death, ascertained with death certificates, interviews with next of kin, medical records, the National Death Index, and the Epidemiology Research Index. All participants gave written informed consent at study enrollment. The Brigham and Women’s institutional review board approved the present study. Drs Weiss and Mora had full access to and take full responsibility for the integrity of the data. All authors have read and agree to the manuscript as written.
Exercise Test Protocol
Participants underwent a standard submaximal Bruce protocol treadmill exercise test,12 which was terminated when a predetermined target heart rate of ≥90% of maximal predicted heart rate for age and physical activity was achieved and maintained for 1 minute or until the end of the stage, or when target heart rate was exceeded by 8 bpm.10 An ECG was monitored before test initiation, continuously during exercise, and for 6 minutes after exercise. Heart rate was monitored continuously. BP measurements were taken at the end of each 3-minute exercise stage by the cuff technique. Participants were allowed to touch the treadmill for balance but not to pull or lean on it. The test could be terminated early at the discretion of the supervising physicians for significant symptoms, arrhythmias, hemodynamic instability, or ST-segment changes on ECG or if the participant was unwilling or unable to continue.
Baseline and Exercise Test Variables
The mean of 2 BP measurements taken at rest (supine) before exercise was used to define hypertension (systolic BP ≥140 mm Hg, diastolic BP ≥90 mm Hg, or use of antihypertensive medications). Medication use was assessed by questionnaires or examination of medications. Resting BP was categorized into 4 groups according to the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure recommendations (<120/80 [normal], 120 to 139/80 to 89 [prehypertension], 140 to 159/90 to 99 [stage 1 hypertension], and ≥160/100 mm Hg [stage 2 hypertension]).13 Rest BP <140/90 mm Hg was further subcategorized into 2 levels of prehypertension defined by the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure: 120 to 129/80 to 84 and 130 to 139/85 to 89 mm Hg.
Maximum exercise systolic BP (ExSBPmax, in mm Hg) was defined as maximum systolic BP recorded during exercise and divided into 4 groups corresponding to approximate quartiles (≤160, 161 to 180, 181 to 200, and >200 mm Hg). Maximum exercise diastolic BP (ExDBPmax, in mm Hg) was defined and divided similarly (≤80, 81 to 85, 86 to 95, >95 mm Hg). Because BP at low-level exercise has been suggested to be more predictive of incident CVD events than maximal BP,6–8 we also examined Bruce stage 2 systolic (ExSBPlow) and diastolic (ExDBPlow) BP divided into population quartiles (ExSBPlow ≤146, 147 to 160, 161 to 180, and >180 mm Hg; ExDBPlow ≤73, 74 to 80, 81 to 90, and >90 mm Hg). Peak exercise capacity, expressed in metabolic equivalents, was calculated from total treadmill time.14
STATA software (version 10.1) was used for statistical analyses. Mean±SD values were calculated for continuous variables, and statistical comparisons were made with ANOVA. Categorical variables were compared by χ2 statistics. Significance tests were 2-tailed, with P<0.05 considered significant.
Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the association of baseline and exercise BP with time to CVD death. We considered 3 levels of adjustment: (1) age and sex, (2) plus non-BP variables (age, sex, diabetes mellitus, low- and high-density lipoprotein [LDL and HDL] cholesterol, triglycerides, smoking, body mass index, and family history), and (3) plus rest BP (for models examining exercise BP). We further adjusted the model with non-BP variables for exercise capacity to account for differences in achieved exercise workload. The proportional hazards assumption was satisfied with the use of Schoenfeld residuals and the natural logarithm of follow-up time.
To examine the additional value of exercise BP according to baseline hypertension, individuals were stratified according to baseline presence or absence of hypertension and evaluated for exercise BP. Similar analyses were performed for participants with baseline prehypertension and normal BP. Statistical tests for interaction between baseline and exercise BP in relation to CVD death were obtained with the use of likelihood ratio tests.
The likelihood ratio χ2 statistic was used to evaluate the goodness of fit of predictive models. Model discrimination was examined with the c-index,15 a generalization of the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. Risk reclassification was assessed by categorizing the predicted 10-year CVD death risk for each model into 3 categories (≤2.5%, 2.5% to 10%, and >10%) or 4 categories (≤2.5%, 2.5% to 5%, 5% to 10%, and >10%). We computed the net reclassification improvement (NRI),16 which compares the shifts in reclassified categories by observed outcome, and the integrated discrimination improvement,16 which compares the integrals of sensitivity and specificity under 2 models. Because of the fewer number of events among those with normal BP or prehypertension during this 10-year interval, we assessed the NRI and integrated discrimination improvement for the combined group (nonhypertensives).
The cohort of 6578 asymptomatic study participants was middle-aged (mean age, 46 years), with a large proportion (45%) of women (Table 1). Of the total, 4844 (74%) had untreated rest BP <140/90 mm Hg (nonhypertensive). Table 2 shows baseline demographic, clinical, and exercise test characteristics according to categories of Bruce stage 2 BP. Except for regular exercise, which occurred more frequently in increasing quartiles of ExSBPmax, the remaining characteristics were similar in Bruce 2 and maximum BP categories regardless of stage of exercise and are thus shown by ExSBPlow and ExDBPlow in Table 2. Individuals in increasing categories of ExSBP and ExDBP were older with more prevalent diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. Slightly more than half of individuals with baseline hypertension also had ExSBPmax >200 mm Hg (56.5%) and ExSBPlow >180 mm Hg (50.3%). Smoking and a premature family history of coronary disease were somewhat less prevalent in those with highest ExSBP, and smoking was less prevalent in those with the highest ExDBP.
Exercise BP and CVD Death
During a mean follow-up of 20.1±4.0 years, there were 385 CVD deaths. Kaplan-Meier curves according to maximum (ExSBPmax and ExDBPmax) and Bruce stage 2 BP (ExSBPlow and ExDBPlow) categories show significant associations with survival free of CVD death (Figure), with a wider curve separation noted for systolic compared with diastolic exercise BP curves.
Exercise Systolic BP
In age- and sex-adjusted analyses (Table 3), higher levels of systolic BP measured at rest, during Bruce stage 2, and during exercise were associated with increased risk of CVD death. On the basis of hazard ratios (HRs) per 10 mm Hg-increments in systolic BP, the magnitude of association was stronger for rest systolic BP, followed by ExSBPlow, then ExSBPmax. We also repeated these analyses per 1-SD increment in BP (data not shown) and found consistent results (ie, that the strength of association was strongest for rest BP followed by Bruce stage 2 BP and then maximal exercise BP). With further adjustment for diabetes mellitus, lipids, smoking, body mass index, and family history, HRs were somewhat attenuated but remained significant at the highest quartiles (adjusted HR, 1.88; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.23 to 2.87 for ExSBPlow >180 mm Hg; and 1.66; 95% CI, 1.14 to 2.40 for ExSBPmax >200 mm Hg).
When exercise capacity was added to the models (not shown), the HR for ExSBPlow was further attenuated (1.52; 95% CI, 0.98 to 2.36 for ExSBPlow >180 mm Hg) but remained unchanged for ExSBPmax (1.65; 95% CI, 1.13 to 2.40 for ExSBPmax >200 mm Hg). Additional adjustment for exercise-induced ST-segment ischemic changes, chest pain terminating the test, and achievement of target heart rate did not significantly change these results.
Exercise Diastolic BP
Analyses were also performed for diastolic BP measured at rest, ExDBPlow, and ExDBPmax (Table 3). In age- and sex-adjusted as well as multivariate-adjusted analyses, ExDBPlow >90 mm Hg and ExDBPmax >95 mm Hg were significantly associated with CVD death. On the basis of the HRs per 5 mm Hg-increments in diastolic BP, the magnitude of association was stronger for rest diastolic BP, followed by ExDBPlow, then ExDBPmax; these results were similar when analyses were repeated per 1-SD increments (not shown). After adjustment for non-BP variables, corresponding HRs for ExDBPlow >90 mm Hg and ExDBPmax >95 mm Hg were 1.63 (95% CI, 1.14 to 2.32) and 1.40 (95% CI, 1.08 to 1.81), respectively. With further adjustment for exercise capacity, the HRs were not changed substantially (1.60; 95% CI, 1.12 to 2.29; and 1.42; 95% CI, 1.10 to 1.83, respectively; not shown).
When rest systolic and diastolic BP were added to the multivariate models, neither exercise systolic nor diastolic BP attained at any level of exercise was significantly associated with CVD death in the population as a whole.
Exercise BP in Nonhypertensive Individuals
Because ExSBPlow and ExDBPlow were the strongest exercise BP variables associated with CVD death, further analyses at Bruce stage 2 exercise were performed across prespecified subcategories of baseline BP. When we examined only nonhypertensive individuals (untreated baseline BP <140/90 mm Hg), Bruce stage 2 BP >180/90 mm Hg was associated with a significant 1.5- to 2-fold increased risk of CVD death (Table 4). Importantly, with further adjustment for rest BP, baseline nonhypertensive participants continued to have significantly higher risk of CVD death associated with ExSBPlow >180 versus ≤180 mm Hg (adjusted HR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.28 to 2.55; P=0.001).
Participants With Normal BP
Furthermore, the subcategory of nonhypertensive individuals with normal BP (<120/80 mm Hg) and ExSBPlow >180 versus ≤180 mm Hg saw the greatest increase in risk of CVD death compared with individuals with prehypertension or hypertension (Table 4), and risk persisted after adjustment for rest BP (adjusted HR, 2.39; 95% CI, 1.26 to 4.51; P=0.007).
Participants With Prehypertension
The presence of prehypertension at baseline incurred an increased risk of CVD death. Subcategorization of participants into those with baseline BP <120/80 mm Hg (reference) followed by prehypertension values 120 to 129/80 to 84 (n=1488) and 130 to 139/85 to 89 mm Hg (n=1018) yielded adjusted HRs of 1.00, 1.18 (95% CI, 0.79 to 1.76), and 1.65 (95% CI, 1.11 to 2.46), respectively (Ptrend=0.01). Furthermore, among prehypertensive individuals, having ExSBPlow >180 versus ≤180 mm Hg imparted a significantly higher risk of CVD death (Table 4), which persisted after further adjustment for rest BP (adjusted HR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.05 to 2.32; P=0.03).
Tests for Interactions
Statistically significant interactions were seen between baseline BP and exercise systolic BP in relation to CVD death. There was significant interaction between baseline BP categorized as hypertension/nonhypertension and ExSBPlow >180 versus ≤180 mm Hg for CVD death (Pinteraction=0.03). Similarly, significant interaction was seen when baseline BP was categorized as normal BP/prehypertension/hypertension. No significant interactions were noted for exercise diastolic BP.
Incremental Value of Bruce Stage 2 Exercise BP Over Baseline BP and Risk Factors
Finally, we compared measures of model discrimination, goodness of fit, and reclassification (Table in the online-only Data Supplement) for models with and without ExSBPlow. The referent model was composed of baseline BP and non-BP risk factors and compared with 2 models: One incorporated ExSBPlow >180 versus ≤180 mm Hg, and the other incorporated ExDBPlow>90 versus ≤90 mm Hg. There was no substantial change in the c-index. ExBPlow improved goodness of fit, especially for nonhypertensive individuals. When subjects were classified according to 3 categories of risk (≤2.5%, 2.5% to 10%, and 10%), there was borderline significant reclassification improvement (P=0.05) with addition of ExSBPlow >180 mm Hg to the referent model (NRI, 12.0%; 95% CI, −0.1% to 24.2%) or ExDBPlow >90 mm Hg (NRI, 9.9%; 95% CI, −0.3% to 20.0%). Repeat analysis using 4 categories of risk resulted in respective NRI values of 18.0% (3.1% to 32.9%; P=0.02) and 12.0% (−1.4% to 125.3%; P=0.08). The integrated discrimination improvement was significantly improved with addition of either ExSBPlow or ExDBPlow to the referent model (relative integrated discrimination improvement values of 14.3% and 12.0%, respectively; P=0.02 and P=0.03, respectively).
In this prospective North American cohort of asymptomatic individuals followed for 20 years, we found that BP measured at rest, at Bruce stage 2, and during exercise were all significantly associated with CVD death independent of non-BP risk factors. The association was strongest for rest BP, followed by Bruce stage 2 BP, then maximal BP attained during exercise. Further analysis revealed that exercise BP was no longer significant after accounting for rest BP overall. However, baseline hypertension status modified the risk associated with exercise BP. Specifically, among nonhypertensives with either normal BP or prehypertension at rest, elevated exercise BP at Bruce stage 2 >180/90 mm Hg identified individuals with up to 2.4-fold higher risk of future CVD death and added predictive value to rest BP and risk factors, possibly warranting more aggressive treatment than is currently recommended.
Prior studies were mixed regarding the independent association of exercise BP and CVD death. Fagard and colleagues4 demonstrated that BP attained at submaximal or maximal workloads was not predictive of future CVD death once the model controlled for baseline BP. Although their study population was small and included only baseline hypertensive participants, these findings are in accordance with the present study, which included a larger and healthier baseline population.
The idea that systolic exercise BP independently predicts CVD death came from 2 studies from the early 1990s. Filipovsky and colleagues6 studied nearly 5000 subjects and found an association between submaximal exercise systolic BP and death after controlling for baseline BP. However, they did not find an association between baseline hypertension and CVD death. Mundal and colleagues7 examined >2000 subjects and found that submaximal exercise systolic BP was significantly related to CVD death independent of baseline BP. However, levels of significance diminished once baseline BP was added to the model, consistent with our findings and suggesting that the relative contribution of baseline BP may have been underestimated when initially reported.
Our study additionally extends the knowledge of exercise diastolic BP and its association with CVD death. Until recently, there have been correlative findings between exercise diastolic BP and cholesterol levels and insulin resistance17 but little on its capability to predict death. The Framingham Offspring Study recently noted an association between low-level exercise diastolic BP and CVD events.8 The present study suggests that both Bruce stage 2 and maximum diastolic BP predict future CVD death. However, like its systolic counterpart, the predictive capability of diastolic BP during exercise is attenuated once rest BP is added to the model.
Interestingly, we found that baseline hypertension status significantly modified the risk associated with exercise BP. Furthermore, there was significant reclassification of risk (up to 18.0%) among nonhypertensives with addition of Bruce stage 2 BP >180/90 mm Hg to baseline risk factors. Among nonhypertensives and particularly those with normal rest BP (<120/80 mm Hg), having an elevated Bruce stage 2 BP >180/90 mm Hg imparted increased risk for CVD death, even after accounting for baseline BP and risk factors. Physiologically, increased cardiac output, decreased peripheral vascular resistance, and the interaction therein determine blood pressure during exercise. When cardiac output is not balanced by increased compliance from peripheral muscle vasculature dilation, the result is a sharp increase in systolic BP.8 This aberrant physiology, which may relate to early vascular stiffness or an exaggerated sympathetic response, may account for the increased risk in this population, particularly for those at Bruce stage 2 who had normal baseline BP because they experienced the steepest change in BP at this early stage of exercise, incurring a higher risk compared with those with higher rest BP values or higher BP at later stages of exercise. The stronger relationship of Bruce stage 2 BP and future death compared with maximum exercise BP may also reflect that participants were asked to stop exercising once target heart rate was achieved. The association of maximum exercise BP with death may have been stronger if participants were allowed to exercise to exhaustion. However, inability to standardize maximal effort given different participant stature, size, and level of conditioning may be an insurmountable challenge of exercise testing.
Similar to individuals with normal BP, prehypertensive individuals with Bruce stage 2 exercise BP >180/90 mm Hg had higher risk after accounting for baseline BP and risk factors. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005–2006 estimate that ≈25% to 35% of the US population ≥20 years of age has prehypertension, including >32 million men and >25 million women.18 Increased CVD,19 thickening of the carotid intima and media,20 and diastolic ventricular dysfunction21 have been demonstrated in prehypertensive individuals, including those with BP as low as 115/75 mm Hg.22 Recent work noted increased CVD events in prehypertensives across the age spectrum23 and, consistent with our own findings, in the prehypertensive group with BP 130 to 139/85 to 89 mm Hg.24,25 Because there is little evidence regarding pharmacological treatment and outcomes in this population, current treatment recommendations are lifestyle modifications.
There are potential limitations to the present study. Despite participant recruitment in various geographic sites from a large range of socioeconomic and occupational populations, >95% of participants were white. Additionally, ≈40% of the study population was recruited on the basis of lipid abnormalities. However, similar Framingham Risk Scores and death rates were reported previously in populations less saturated with lipid abnormalities, with no significant interaction between high LDL cholesterol and death.26 The exercise test protocol was a submaximal Bruce protocol, with termination at ≥90% of maximum predicted heart rate. It remains to be seen whether our results would be applicable to other exercise test protocols and whether results would change if participants were allowed to exercise to exhaustion. Additionally, our primary study end point was CVD death, a hard end point, and it is unclear whether similar results would be noted for nonfatal “softer” cardiovascular events, such as angina or nonfatal myocardial infarction.
In conclusion, rest BP, low-level (Bruce stage 2) exercise BP, and maximum exercise BP were associated with higher CVD death. Exercise-related BP, regardless of workload, was not significant after accounting for rest BP in the overall population. However, baseline hypertension status significantly modified the risk associated with exercise BP. Among nonhypertensives with either normal BP or prehypertension, Bruce stage 2 BP >180/90 mm Hg identified those at significantly higher risk of CVD death and added predictive value to rest BP and other risk factors, a finding that may warrant more aggressive treatment in those individuals than is currently recommended.
The investigators, staff, and participants of the Lipid Research Clinics are gratefully acknowledged. The Lipid Research Clinics is conducted and supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute with Lipid Research Clinics investigator collaboration. This manuscript was prepared with the use of a limited access data set and does not necessarily reflect opinions of the Lipid Research Clinics Study or the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Dr Mora has received research grant support from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (K08 HL094375). The other authors report no conflicts.
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Individuals with exaggerated exercise blood pressure (BP) tend to develop future hypertension. It is controversial whether exercise BP is associated with higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease. This prospective study evaluated whether an exaggerated exercise BP response, either systolic or diastolic, was associated with future long-term cardiovascular disease death in a large population of healthy men and women enrolled in the Lipid Research Clinics Prevalence Study. A total of 6578 asymptomatic individuals (45% women; mean age, 46 years; 74% with untreated baseline BP <140/90 mm Hg [nonhypertensive]) performed submaximal Bruce treadmill tests and were followed for 20 years. Elevated exercise BP at rest, at low-level exercise (Bruce stage 2), and at maximal exercise BP all predicted future cardiovascular disease death, with the strongest association noted for rest BP, followed by Bruce stage 2 BP, and then maximum exercise BP. Although exercise BP was not significant after accounting for rest BP in the entire population, baseline hypertension significantly modified the risk associated with exercise BP. Specifically, among nonhypertensive individuals with either normal rest BP (<120/80 mm Hg) or prehypertension (120 to 139/80 to 89 mm Hg), Bruce stage 2 BP >180/90 mm Hg identified individuals with up to 2.4-fold higher risk of cardiovascular disease death and added predictive value to rest BP and other risk factors. Bruce stage 2 BP >180/90 mm Hg potentially identifies a population that may warrant more aggressive treatment than is currently recommended.
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Guest Editor for this article was Gregg C. Fonarow, MD.
The online-only Data Supplement is available with this article at http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.895292/DC1.