Background--US blood pressure reduction policies are largely restricted to hypertensive populations and associated benefits are often estimated based on unrealistic interventions. Methods and Results--We used multivariable linear regression to estimate incidence rate differences contrasting the impact of 2 pragmatic hypothetical interventions to reduce coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart failure (HF) incidence: (1) a populationwide intervention that reduced systolic blood pressure by 1 mm Hg and (2) targeted interventions that reduced the prevalence of unaware, untreated, or uncontrolled blood pressure above goal (per Eighth Joint National Committee treatment thresholds) by 10%. In the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (n=15 744; 45 to 64 years at baseline, 1987-1989), incident coronary heart disease and stroke were adjudicated by physician panels. Incident HF was defined as the first hospitalization with discharge diagnosis code of "428." A 10% proportional reduction in unaware, untreated, or uncontrolled blood pressure above goal resulted in ≈4.61, 3.55, and 11.01 fewer HF events per 100 000 person-years in African Americans, and 3.77, 1.63, and 4.44 fewer HF events per 100 000 person-years, respectively, in whites. In contrast, a 1 mm Hg population-wide systolic blood pressure reduction was associated with 20.3 and 13.3 fewer HF events per 100 000 person-years in African Americans and whites, respectively. Estimated event reductions for coronary heart disease and stroke were smaller than for HF, but followed a similar pattern for both population-wide and targeted interventions. Conclusions--Modest population-wide shifts in systolic blood pressure could have a substantial impact on cardiovascular disease incidence and should be developed in parallel with interventions targeting populations with blood pressure above goal.
- Blood pressure
- Coronary heart disease
- Heart failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine