Long term prognostic impact of sex-specific longitudinal changes in blood pressure. The EPIC-Norfolk prospective population cohort study

Tiberiu A. Pana, Robert N. Luben, Mamas A. Mamas, John F. Potter, Nicholas J. Wareham, Kay-Tee Khaw, Phyo K. Myint (Lead Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


Aims: We aimed to determine the sex differences in longitudinal systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP)trajectories in mid-life and delineate the associations between these and mortality (all-cause, cardiovascular, and non-cardiovascular) and incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) in old age. 
Methods and results: Participants were selected from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer, Norfolk (EPIC-Norfolk) cohort study. Sex-specific trajectories were determined using group-based trajectory models using three clinic BP measurements acquired between 1993 and 2012 (mean exposure 12.9 years). Multivariable Cox regressions determined the associations between trajectories and incident outcomes over the follow-up (median follow-up9.4 years). A total of 2897 men (M) and 3819 women (F) were included. At baseline, women were younger (F-55.5, M-57.1), had a worse cardiometabolic profile and were less likely to receive primary CVD prevention including antihypertensive treatment (F-36.0%, M-42.0%). Over the exposure period, women had lower SBP trajectories while men exhibited more pronounced SBP decreases over this period. Over the follow-up period, women had lower mortality (F-11.9%, M-20.5%) and CVD incidence (F-19.8%, M-29.6%). Compared to optimal SBP(<_120 mmHg) and DBP (<_70 mmHg) trajectories, hypertensive trajectories were associated with increased mortality and incident CVD in both men and women during follow-up at univariable level. These associations were nevertheless not maintained upon extensive confounder adjustment including antihypertensive therapies.  
Conclusion: We report sex disparities in CVD prevention which may relate to worse cardiometabolic profiles and less pronounced longitudinal SBP decreases in women. Effective anti-hypertensive therapy may offset the adverse outcomes associated with prolonged exposure to high blood pressure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180–191
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Issue number1
Early online date5 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Longitudinal
  • Mortality
  • Sex-specific
  • Trajectory

Cite this