A hypertension risk score for middle-aged and older adults
Determining which demographic and medical variables predict the development of hypertension could help clinicians stratify risk in both prehypertensive and nonhypertensive persons. Subject-level data from 2 community-based biracial cohorts were combined to ascertain the relationship between baseline characteristics and incident hypertension. Hypertension, defined as diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mm Hg, systolic blood pressure ≥140 mm Hg, or reported use of medication known to treat hypertension, was assessed prospectively at 3, 6, and 9 years. Internal validation was performed by the split-sample method with a 2:1 ratio for training and testing samples, respectively. A scoring algorithm was developed by converting the multivariable regression coefficients to integer values. Age, level of systolic or diastolic blood pressure, smoking, family history of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, high body mass index, female sex, and lack of exercise were associated with the development of hypertension in the training sample. Regression models showed moderate to high capabilities of discrimination between hypertension vs nonhypertension (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve 0.75-0.78) in the testing sample at 3, 6, and 9 years of follow-up. This risk calculator may aide health care providers in guiding discussions with patients about the risk for progression to hypertension.