Systolic blood pressure and cardiovascular mortality among 13,740 Dutch women

Preventive Medicine
A M van der GiezenH J Collette


Prospective data of cardiovascular mortality in relation to the systolic blood pressure of women are scarce, especially when combined with other risk factors. The association between systolic blood pressure and cardiovascular mortality was therefore studied in a 10-year follow-up of a population of 13,740 Dutch women, born between 1911 and 1925 who participated in a population-based breast cancer screening project (the DOM Project). Age-adjusted mortality rates over the 10-year follow-up period suggest a J-shaped pattern of cardiovascular mortality according to level of systolic blood pressure. Age-adjusted total cardiovascular, coronary, and cerebrovascular mortality rate ratios were significantly greater than 1.0 among women with elevated systolic blood pressure. Within categories of other risk factors (obesity index, diabetes mellitus, current smoking, and use of antihypertensive medicines) the age-adjusted cardiovascular rate ratios did not show confounding by any of these variables. A very high increase in cardiovascular mortality was observed among hypertensive diabetic women. This study shows that elevated systolic blood pressure is associated with increased rates of cardiovascular mortality for women in this age group.


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