Is hypertension more benign when associated with obesity?
To determine the effect of obesity on prognosis in hypertensive subjects, a population of 1727 men 50 to 79 years of age was dichotomized by baseline body mass index (less than 27 and greater than or equal to 27 kg/m2) and systolic blood pressure (less than 160 and greater than or equal to 160 mm Hg). After 9 years of follow-up, age-adjusted all-cause, cardiovascular, and ischemic heart disease mortality rates were highest in the nonobese hypertensive subjects. The relative risk for mortality associated with a systolic blood pressure of 160 mm Hg or higher was significantly increased only in the nonobese group, with the largest difference in relative risk between obese and nonobese for ischemic heart disease. Results were consistent after separately excluding those with a history of heart disease, diabetes, current use of antihypertensive medication, and cigarette smoking, and those who died within 2 years of the baseline examination. When the independent effect of risk factors, including age, plasma cholesterol level, cigarette smoking, use of antihypertensive medication, and personal history of heart disease or diabetes was assessed with the Cox model, systolic blood pressure was a significant independent predictor of all-cause, cardiovascular, and ischemic heart disease death only in the nonobese subjects. We do not exclude an adverse effect of raised blood pressure in the obese. However, these data suggest that the prognosis is poorer in leaner hypertensive patients than in those who are overweight.
- Copyright © 1985 by American Heart Association