, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 556-566,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 04 Oct 2012

Blood Pressure J-Curve: Current Concepts

Abstract

The blood pressure (BP) J-curve debate started in 1979, and we still cannot definitively answer all the questions. However, available studies of antihypertensive treatment provide strong evidence for J-shaped relationships between both diastolic and systolic BP and main outcomes in the general population of hypertensive patients, as well as in high-risk populations, including subjects with coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, left ventricular hypertrophy, and elderly patients. However, further studies are still necessary in order to clarify this issue. This is connected to the fact that most available studies were observational, and randomized trials did not have or lost their statistical power and were inconclusive. Perhaps only the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) and Optimal Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Targets for Preventing Recurrent Stroke in Hypertensives (ESH-CHL-SHOT) will be able to finally answer all the questions. According to the current state of knowledge, it seems reasonable to suggest lowering BP to values within the 130–139/80–85 mmHg range, possibly close to the lower values in this range, in all hypertensive patients and to be very careful with further BP level reductions, especially in high-risk hypertensive patients.