Low blood pressure and antihypertensive treatment are independently associated with physical and mental health status in patients with arterial disease: the SMART study

Authors

  • M. Muller,

    1. Department of Internal Medicine, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    2. Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    3. National Institute on Aging, Laboratory of Epidemiology, Demography and Biometry, Intramural Research Program, Bethesda, MD, USA
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  • H. M. Jochemsen,

    1. Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    2. Alzheimer Centre, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • F. L. J. Visseren,

    1. Department of Vascular Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • A. M. Grool,

    1. Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    2. Department of Radiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • L. J. Launer,

    1. National Institute on Aging, Laboratory of Epidemiology, Demography and Biometry, Intramural Research Program, Bethesda, MD, USA
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  • Y. van der Graaf,

    1. Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • M. I. Geerlings,

    Corresponding author
    1. Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    • Correspondence: Dr. M. I. Geerlings, Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands. (fax: +31-88-7555480; e-mail: m.geerlings@umcutrecht.nl).

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  • The SMART-study group


  • Listed in the acknowledgements.

Abstract

Objective

To investigate the independent effects of antihypertensive treatment and blood pressure (BP) levels on physical and mental health status in patients with arterial disease.

Design and setting

Cross-sectional analyses were conducted within the single-centre Secondary Manifestations of ARTerial disease (SMART) study, in a hospital care setting.

Subjects

A total of 5877 patients (mean age 57 years) with symptomatic and asymptomatic arterial disease underwent standardized vascular screening.

Main outcome measure

The primary outcome was self-rated physical and mental health assessed using the 36-item short-form health survey.

Results

In the total population, antihypertensive drug use and increased intensity of antihypertensive treatment were associated with poorer health status independent of important confounders including BP levels; adjusted mean differences [95% confidence interval (CI)] in physical and mental health between = 0 and  3 antihypertensives were −1.2 (−2.1; −0.3) and −3.5 (−4.4; −2.6), respectively. Furthermore, both lower systolic and lower diastolic BP levels were related to poorer physical and mental health status independent of antihypertensive treatment. Mean differences (95% CI) in physical and mental health status per SD decrease in systolic BP were −0.56 (−0.84; −0.27) and −0.32 (−0.61; −0.03) and per SD decrease in diastolic BP were −0.50 (−0.78; −0.23) and −0.08 (−0.36; 0.20), respectively. The association between low BP and poor health status was particularly present in patients with coronary artery disease.

Conclusions

In a population of patients with asymptomatic and symptomatic arterial disease, antihypertensive treatment and lower BP levels are independently associated with poorer self-rated physical and mental health. These findings suggest that different underlying mechanisms may explain these independent associations.

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