Risks: Blood Pressure Tests May Not Be Enough

(NY Times) — A single blood pressure test, or even several readings over a short period of time, may not be enough to gauge the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Many researchers predict a subject’s risk for cardiovascular risk with a single blood pressure reading, but a new study has tracked blood pressure over 14 years beginning at age 41 in more than 61,500 men and women, most not taking blood pressure medicine. The paper was published online last week in Circulation.

Men who developed hypertension during middle age had a 70 percent lifetime risk of developing cardiovascular disease or stroke, compared with a risk of 35 percent among men who had lower blood pressure.

Among women, those who had hypertension from age 41 through 55 had a lifetime risk of 49 percent, compared with 22 percent among middle-aged women with lower blood pressure.


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