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BACKGROUND: Blood pressure (BP) categories are useful to simplify preventions in public health, and diagnostic and treatment approaches in clinical practice. Updated evidence about the associations of BP categories with cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and its subtypes is warranted. METHODS AND FINDINGS: About 0.5 million adults aged 30 to 79 years were recruited from 10 areas in China during 2004-2008. The present study included 430 977 participants without antihypertension treatment, cancer, or CVD at baseline. BP was measured at least twice in a single visit at baseline and CVD deaths during follow-up were collected via registries and the national health insurance databases. Multivariable Cox regression was used to estimate the associations between BP categories and CVD mortality. Overall, 16.3% had prehypertension-low, 25.1% had prehypertension-high, 14.1% had isolated systolic hypertension (ISH), 1.9% had isolated diastolic hypertension (IDH), and 9.1% had systolic-diastolic hypertension (SDH). During a median 10-year follow-up, 9660 CVD deaths were documented. Compared with normal, the hazard ratios (95% CI) of prehypertension-low, prehypertension-high, ISH, IDH, SDH for CVD were 1.10 (1.01-1.19), 1.32 (1.23-1.42), 2.04 (1.91-2.19), 2.20 (1.85-2.61), and 3.81 (3.54-4.09), respectively. All hypertension subtypes were related to the increased risk of CVD subtypes, with a stronger association for hemorrhagic stroke than for ischemic heart disease. The associations were stronger in younger than older adults. CONCLUSIONS: Prehypertension-high should be considered in CVD primary prevention given its high prevalence and increased CVD risk. All hypertension subtypes were independently associated with CVD and its subtypes mortality, though the strength of associations varied substantially.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

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