Incidence and Prognosis of Resistant Hypertension in Hypertensive Patients
Background—Despite a recent American Heart Association (AHA) consensus statement emphasizing the importance of resistant hypertension, the incidence and prognosis of this condition is largely unknown.
Methods and Results—This retrospective cohort study in two integrated health plans included patients with incident hypertension started on treatment from 2002-2006. Patients were followed for the development of resistant hypertension based on AHA criteria of uncontrolled blood pressure despite use of three or more antihypertensive medications using medication fill and blood pressure measurement data. We determined incident cardiovascular events (death or incident myocardial infarction, heart failure, stroke or chronic kidney disease) in patients with and without resistant hypertension adjusting for patient and clinical characteristics. Among 205,750 patients with incident hypertension, 1.9% developed resistant hypertension within a median 1.5 years from initial treatment, or 0.7 cases per 100 person-years of follow-up. These patients were more often men, older, and had higher rates of diabetes compared with non-resistant patients. Over 3.8 years of median follow-up, cardiovascular event rates were significantly higher in those with resistant hypertension (unadjusted: 18.0% vs. 13.5%, p<0.001). After adjusting for patient and clinical characteristics, resistant hypertension was associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular events (HR 1.47, 95% CI 1.33-1.62).
Conclusions—Among patients with incident hypertension started on treatment, 1 in 50 patients developed resistant hypertension. Resistant hypertension patients had an increased risk of cardiovascular events supporting the need for greater efforts toward improving hypertension outcomes in this population.
- Received September 15, 2011.
- Accepted February 2, 2012.
- Copyright © 2012, American Heart Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited