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Original research
Cardiovascular or mortality risk of controlled hypertension and importance of physical activity


Objective To investigate the risk of major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCEs) and all-cause death of patients with controlled hypertension and suggest the benefits of physical activity in their prognosis.

Methods People aged 40–69 years from the prospective UK Biobank cohort (UKB, n=220 026) and the retrospective Korean National Health Insurance Service cohort (KNHIS, n=3 593 202) were included in this observational cohort study, excluding those with previous cerebrocardiovascular diseases or hypertension without treatment. The study groups were stratified into normotension, controlled hypertension (patients with hypertension with systolic blood pressure <140 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure <90 mm Hg) and uncontrolled hypertension groups. The outcomes were MACCEs and all-cause mortality, analysed by Cox regression analysis.

Results We included 161 405/18 844/39 777 and 3 122 890/383 828/86 484 individuals with normotension/controlled hypertension/uncontrolled hypertension state from the UKB and KNHIS cohorts, respectively. The controlled hypertension group showed significantly higher risk of MACCEs (UKB: adjusted HR 1.73 (95% CI 1.55 to 1.92); KNHIS: 1.46 (95% CI 1.43 to 1.49)) and all-cause mortality (UKB: adjusted HR 1.28 (95% CI 1.18 to 1.39); KNHIS: 1.29 (95% CI 1.26 to 1.32)) than individuals with normotension. The controlled hypertension group not involved in any moderate or moderate-to-vigorous physical activity showed high risk of adverse outcomes, which was comparable with or even higher than the risk of patients with uncontrolled hypertension who were engaged in physical activity.

Conclusions Controlled hypertension is associated with residual risks of adverse outcomes. Clinicians may encourage physical activity for patients with controlled hypertension, not being reassured by their achieved target blood pressure values.

  • hypertension
  • coronary artery disease
  • epidemiology

Data availability statement

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the UK Biobank (application no. 53799) and the NHIS of the Republic of Korea (NHIS-2018-1-247). The study data will be made available by organisations upon reasonable request.

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