Association Between Early Hypertension Control and Cardiovascular Disease Incidence in Veterans With Diabetes


Guidelines for hypertension treatment in patients with diabetes diverge regarding the systolic blood pressure (SBP) threshold at which treatment should be initiated and treatment goal. We examined associations of early SBP treatment with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) events in U.S. adults with diabetes.


We studied 43,986 patients with diabetes who newly initiated antihypertensive therapy between 2002 and 2007. Patients were classified into categories based on SBP at treatment initiation (130–139 or ≥140 mmHg) and after 2 years of treatment (100–119, 120–129, 130–139, 140–159, and ≥160 mmHg). The primary outcome was composite ASCVD events (fatal and nonfatal myocardial infarction and stroke), estimated using inverse probability of treatment-weighted Poisson regression and multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression.


Relative to individuals who initiated treatment when SBP was 130–139 mmHg, those with pretreatment SBP ≥140 mmHg had higher ASCVD risk (hazard ratio 1.10 [95% CI 1.02, 1.19]). Relative to those with pretreatment SBP of 130–139 mmHg and on-treatment SBP of 120–129 mmHg (reference group), ASCVD incidence was higher in those with pretreatment SBP ≥140 mmHg and on-treatment SBP 120–129 mmHg (adjusted incidence rate difference [IRD] 1.0 [–0.2 to 2.1] events/1,000 person-years) and in those who achieved on-treatment SBP 130–139 mmHg (IRD 1.9 [0.6, 3.2] and 1.1 [0.04, 2.2] events/1,000 person-years for those with pretreatment SBP 130–139 mmHg and ≥140 mmHg, respectively).


In this observational study, patients with diabetes initiating antihypertensive therapy when SBP was 130–139 mmHg and those achieving on-treatment SBP <130 mmHg had better outcomes than those with higher SBP levels when initiating or after 2 years on treatment.

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