morbidity and mortality
Hypertension is an epidemiologically important condition since it is an aetiological factor in up to 33% of premature death. The most serious diseases associated with hypertension are stroke and coronary artery disease.
Large studies such as the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial point to hypertension as a major risk factor for stroke. About 40% of strokes can be attributed to a systolic blood pressure of more than 140 mm Hg.
There is a linear relationship between log stroke risk and mean diastolic blood pressure. Increasing the blood pressure by five or six mm Hg increases the risk by roughly 35 to 40% over a range of 76 to 105 mm Hg. The same pattern is seen in systolic blood pressure.
A similar relationship exists for coronary artery disease. The gradient is less steep; increasing the blood pressure by five or six mm Hg increases the risk by 20%.
Last reviewed 05/2021