The relation between pulse pressure and cardiovascular mortality in 12 763 middle-aged men from various parts of the world: A 25-year follow-up of the seven countries study (Retraction in: Archives of Internal Medicine (2006) 166:16 (1787))
BACKGROUND: Hypertension is a dominant characteristic in the prediction of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). We aimed to evaluate the association of blood pressure measurements with CVD mortality among different populations of the world. METHODS: A total of 12 763 men, aged 40 to 59 years, from 7 countries (United States, Japan, Italy, Greece, former Yugoslavia, Finland, and the Netherlands) were surveyed from 1958 to 1964. Follow-up for vital status and causes of death was carried out over 25 years. RESULTS: All baseline blood pressure measurements were the best predictors of CVD mortality, compared with age, physical activity, total serum cholesterol level, body mass index or height, and smoking. Moreover, pulse pressure and diastolic and systolic blood pressures were the best predictors for CVD death, followed by mean and mid blood pressures. The age-adjusted hazard ratio per 10-mm Hg increase in pulse pressure varied among cohorts from 1.19 in the United States (P = .04) to 1.29 in southern Europe (P = .01). Differences among cohorts were not significant. In the pooled cohorts, pulse pressure measurements were also a significant predictor for coronary heart disease (hazard ratio per 10-mm Hg increase, 1.15; P = .04) as well as stroke death (hazard ratio per 10-mm Hg increase, 1.32; P = .01). CONCLUSIONS: Pulse pressure followed by diastolic and systolic blood pressures were the best predictors for CVD mortality among other blood pressures, as well as age, physical activity, total serum cholesterol level, anthropometric indexes, and smoking habits. No significant differences were observed among the different populations studied.