The predictive ability of blood pressure in elderly trial patients

Matthew Carr, Yanchun Bao, Jianxin Pan, Kennedy Cruickshank, Roseanne Mcnamee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To assess the impact of the blood pressure (BP) profile on cardiovascular risk in the Medical Research Council (UK) elderly trial; investigate whether the effects of hypertensive drugs in reducing event rates are solely a product of systolic pressure reduction.

Methods: Using longitudinal BP data from 4396 hypertensive patients, the general trend over time was estimated using a first-stage multilevel model. We then investigated how BP acted alongside other BP-related covariates in a second-stage ‘time-to-event’ statistical model, assessing risk for stroke events and coronary heart disease (CHD). Differences in outcome prediction between diuretic, β-blocker and placebo treatment arms were investigated.

Results: The β-blocker arm experienced comparatively poor control of current SBP, episodic peaks and variability in BP levels. After adjusting for the mean level, variability in SBP over time was significant: risk ratio was 1.15 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01–1.31] across all patients for stroke events. The risk ratio for current SBP was 1.36 (95% CI: 1.16–1.58). Current DBP and variability in DBP also predicted stroke independently: risk ratios was 1.43 and 1.18, respectively. The risk factors exhibited weaker associations with CHD risk; only the highest measured value and variability in SBP showed a statistically significant association: risk ratios were 1.26 and 1.16, respectively.

Conclusion: Individual risk characterization could be augmented with additional prognostic information, besides current SBP, including current diastolic pressure, temporal variability over and above general trends and historical measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1725-1733
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of hypertension
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


  • blood pressure
  • cardiovascular disease
  • longitudinal data
  • matched case-control analysis
  • risk factors


Dive into the research topics of 'The predictive ability of blood pressure in elderly trial patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this