Improving survival of malignant hypertension patients over 40 years

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BACKGROUND: To examine changing demography and survival of patients with malignant phase hypertension (MHT) over 40 years. METHODS: Patients from our MHT registry whose survival status on 31 December 2006 was known were included, with analyses conducted based on decade of MHT diagnosis. RESULTS: Four-hundred and forty-six patients with MHT (overall mean (s.d.) age 48.2 (12.9), years; 65.5% male; 64.7% white-European; 20.4% African Caribbean, and 14.8% South-Asian) were included. No significant demographic differences at diagnosis were evident over the 40 years, with the exception of a significant increase (P = 0.001) in the proportion of MHT among ethnic minorities (South-Asian and Afro-Caribbeans). There were no significant differences in mean systolic blood pressure (SBP) at presentation but baseline diastolic BP (DBP) was significantly lower after 1976 (P <0.0001). The total number of person-years of observation was 5,725.5 years, with a median (interquartile range (IQR)) length of follow-up of 103.8 (31.3-251.2) months. Overall 203 patients (55.6%) died, 125 (32.0%) within 5 years of diagnosis. There was a significant improvement in 5-year survival from 32.0% prior to 1977 to 91.0% for patients diagnosed between 1997 and 2006. SBP and DBP improved significantly during follow-up (P <0.0001). Multivariate analyses revealed that age, decade of MHT diagnosis, baseline creatinine, and follow-up SBP were independent predictors of survival (all P <0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Demography and number of new cases of MHT have not changed dramatically over the past 40 years. Five-year post-MHT survival has improved significantly, possibly related to lower BP targets, tighter BP control, and availability of new classes of antihypertensive drugs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1199-204
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2009


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