High diastolic BP in boys a predictor of mortality

ELEVATED diastolic blood pressure (BP) detected in late adolescent boys is a more important indication of the risk of cardiovascular death than raised systolic BP, research suggests.

The study, in over 1.2 million young Swedish men with a mean age of 18.4 years, found the relationship between diastolic BP and mortality was stronger compared with systolic BP, based on relative risk and population attributable fraction of deaths over 24 years of follow-up. 

“The relation of diastolic BP to mortality was monotonic and positive, with an apparent risk threshold around a pressure of about 90 mmHg,” the authors said. 

However, the association between systolic BP and mortality was U shaped, with the lowest risk of death at BP 130 mmHg. 

The findings had important public health implications given recent moves towards early identification of cardiovascular risk factors, the authors said.

Professor Simon Stewart,