Higher risk of cardiovascular mortality among lean hypertensive individuals in Tecumseh, Michigan.
BACKGROUND A cohort of 2181 men and women, aged 40 to 79 years, without evidence of coronary heart disease or cancer at entry to the Tecumseh Study was evaluated.
METHODS AND RESULTS Subjects were defined as lean if their Metropolitan Life Insurance table relative weight was < 110 (n = 584) and as obese if their relative weight was > or = 120 (n = 1024). There were 688 subjects with hypertension at study entry (systolic blood pressure > or = 160, diastolic blood pressure > or = 95, or treated). The 29-year relative risk (RR) of mortality from ischemic heart disease (IHD) or cardiovascular disease (CVD) associated with systolic blood pressure level was significant for both lean and obese subjects. Among hypertensive subjects, the RR of fatal IHD for lean versus obese hypertensive subjects was 1.87 (95% confidence interval, 1.21 to 2.88) and the RR of fatal CVD was 1.56 (95% confidence interval, 1.10 to 2.20) using a Cox proportional-hazards model to adjust for the independent effects of age and traditional CVD risk factors. The findings are consistent with other studies in men showing lean hypertensive subjects to be at greater risk of IHD or CVD mortality than obese hypertensive subjects. A similar finding is now observed in women.
CONCLUSIONS Associations do not prove causality or dictate management. Nevertheless, the unexplained higher mortality in lean versus obese hypertensive subjects has now been reported with sufficient frequency to suggest that the association is real (if unexplained). Determining the reasons for this association may improve targeted prevention and treatment strategies.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association