Over 60% of adults age ? 65 years have high blood pressure (BP), but optimal management of high BP in the elderly remains controversial. Contrary to evidence in middle age that lowering BP is clearly beneficial, data in older adults are inconsistent and high BP may not be a risk factor in all elders. We recently reported that, among participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey age e65 years, high BP was a risk factor for all-cause and cardiovascular (CV) death only among persons in better health status (defined as fast walking of a 20-ft walk test). In contrast, high BP was not a risk factor among slow walkers. Additionally, the benefit of lowering BP in all elders remains an issue of debate;a recent meta-analysis in persons age 80 years and older reported no benefit of BP treatment on mortality, and significant heterogeneity across trials. Finally, there is growin concern for potential harms associated with treatment to lower BP. Excessive lowering of BP, particularly diastolic, has been associated with increased risk for death and cardiovascular events in some studies. In the proposed research, we propose a novel paradigm where the associations of BP with adverse outcomes in older persons are considered in the setting of the complex aging process. Our long-term goal is to reliably identify elderly persons in whom BP treatment is beneficial and those in whom treatment is ineffective or even harmful, by defining subpopulations of similar health status. Specifically, aim 1 proposes to elucidate factors from four domains (functional, cognitive/mental, self-rated health, and physiologic) that can identify elderly persons in whom high systolic BP is strongly associated with higher risk for death and CV events, and those in whom it is not, using data from three NIH-funded cohorts: Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), Health Aging and Body Composition (Health ABC) and Sacramento Area Latino Study of Aging (SALSA).
In aim 2, we will evaluate the role of diastolic BP across level of health status. Finally, based on findings from these observational cohorts, in aim 3 we will evaluate whether these factors can identify elderly persons in whom treatment to lower BP is of maximum benefit in two randomized controlled trials: the Systolic Hypertension in the Elderly (SHEP) and the Secondary Prevention of Small Subcortical Strokes (SPS3). Since participants in trials are healthier than the U.S. population, we will also evaluate the effect of treatment in the observational studies, using state-of-the-art causal inference methods, which can correct for the bias of standard analytic approaches. Completion of these aims will substantially advance our understanding of the importance of high BP in older adults;will improve our ability to identify elderly persons who will benefit from BP treatment;will allow a systematic understanding of groups in whom evidence for BP treatment is lacking;and will guide design of future trials of hypertension in elderly adults.

Public Health Relevance

Treatment of high blood pressure in elderly persons remains controversial. This proposal focuses on developing systematic methods to understand which elderly persons benefit from lowering blood pressure. This question is of great relevance as U.S. elders are living longer than any prior generation, and the majority have high blood pressure.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
1R01AG046206-01A1
Application #
8756375
Study Section
Cardiovascular and Sleep Epidemiology Study Section (CASE)
Program Officer
Salive, Marcel
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Northern California Institute Research & Education
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
San Francisco
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
94121
Odden, Michelle C; Moran, Andrew E; Coxson, Pamela G et al. (2016) Gait Speed as a Guide for Blood Pressure Targets in Older Adults: A Modeling Study. J Am Geriatr Soc 64:1015-23
Peralta, Carmen A; McClure, Leslie A; Scherzer, Rebecca et al. (2016) Effect of Intensive Versus Usual Blood Pressure Control on Kidney Function Among Individuals With Prior Lacunar Stroke: A Post Hoc Analysis of the Secondary Prevention of Small Subcortical Strokes (SPS3) Randomized Trial. Circulation 133:584-91
Wu, Chenkai; Shlipak, Michael G; Stawski, Robert S et al. (2016) Visit-to-Visit Blood Pressure Variability and Mortality and Cardiovascular Outcomes Among Older Adults: The Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study. Am J Hypertens :
Peralta, Carmen A; McClure, Leslie A; Scherzer, Rebecca et al. (2016) Response by Peralta et al to Letter Regarding Article, "Effect of Intensive Versus Usual Blood Pressure Control on Kidney Function Among Individuals With Prior Lacunar Stroke: A Post Hoc Analysis of the Secondary Prevention of Small Subcortical Strokes (S Circulation 134:e26-7
Odden, Michelle C; McClure, Leslie A; Sawaya, B Peter et al. (2016) Achieved Blood Pressure and Outcomes in the Secondary Prevention of Small Subcortical Strokes Trial. Hypertension 67:63-9
Odden, Michelle C; Wu, Chenkai; Shlipak, Michael G et al. (2016) Blood Pressure Trajectory, Gait Speed, and Outcomes: The Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 71:1688-1694
Odden, Michelle C (2015) A Discontinuation Trial of Antihypertensive Treatment: The Other Side of the Story. JAMA Intern Med 175:1630-2
Odden, Michelle C; Beilby, Pamela R; Peralta, Carmen A (2015) Blood Pressure in Older Adults: the Importance of Frailty. Curr Hypertens Rep 17:55
Peralta, Carmen A; Katz, Ronit; Newman, Anne B et al. (2014) Systolic and diastolic blood pressure, incident cardiovascular events, and death in elderly persons: the role of functional limitation in the Cardiovascular Health Study. Hypertension 64:472-80