Healthy lifestyle factors and risk of cardiovascular events and mortality in treatment-resistant hypertension: The Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke study
Few data exist on whether healthy lifestyle factors are associated with better prognosis among individuals with apparent treatment-resistant hypertension, a high-risk phenotype of hypertension. The purpose of this study was to assess the association of healthy lifestyle factors with cardiovascular events, all-cause mortality, and cardiovascular mortality among individuals with apparent treatment-resistant hypertension. We studied participants (n=2043) from the population-based Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study with apparent treatment-resistant hypertension (blood pressure ≥140/90 mm Hg despite the use of 3 antihypertensive medication classes or the use of ≥4 classes of antihypertensive medication regardless of blood pressure control). Six healthy lifestyle factors adapted from guidelines for the management of hypertension (normal waist circumference, physical activity ≥4 times/week, nonsmoking, moderate alcohol consumption, high Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet score, and low sodium-to-potassium intake ratio) were examined. A greater number of healthy lifestyle factors were associated with lower risk for cardiovascular events (n=360) during a mean follow-up of 4.5 years. Multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios [HR (95% confidence interval)] for cardiovascular events comparing individuals with 2, 3, and 4 to 6 versus 0 to 1 healthy lifestyle factors were 0.91 (0.68-1.21), 0.80 (0.57-1.14), and 0.63 (0.41-0.95), respectively (P-trend=0.020). Physical activity and nonsmoking were individual healthy lifestyle factors significantly associated with lower risk for cardiovascular events. Similar associations were observed between healthy lifestyle factors and risk for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. In conclusion, healthy lifestyle factors, particularly physical activity and nonsmoking, are associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular events and mortality among individuals with apparent treatment-resistant hypertension.