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      Age-specific association between blood pressure and vascular and non-vascular chronic diseases in 0·5 million adults in China: a prospective cohort study

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          Summary

          Background

          The age-specific association between blood pressure and vascular disease has been studied mostly in high-income countries, and before the widespread use of brain imaging for diagnosis of the main stroke types (ischaemic stroke and intracerebral haemorrhage). We aimed to investigate this relationship among adults in China.

          Methods

          512 891 adults (59% women) aged 30–79 years were recruited into a prospective study from ten areas of China between June 25, 2004, and July 15, 2008. Participants attended assessment centres where they were interviewed about demographic and lifestyle characteristics, and their blood pressure, height, and weight were measured. Incident disease was identified through linkage to local mortality records, chronic disease registries, and claims to the national health insurance system. We used Cox regression analysis to produce adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) relating systolic blood pressure to disease incidence. HRs were corrected for regression dilution to estimate associations with long-term average (usual) systolic blood pressure.

          Findings

          During a median follow-up of 9 years (IQR 8–10), there were 88 105 incident vascular and non-vascular chronic disease events (about 90% of strokes events were diagnosed using brain imaging). At ages 40–79 years (mean age at event 64 years [SD 9]), usual systolic blood pressure was continuously and positively associated with incident major vascular disease throughout the range 120–180 mm Hg: each 10 mm Hg higher usual systolic blood pressure was associated with an approximately 30% higher risk of ischaemic heart disease (HR 1·31 [95% CI 1·28–1·34]) and ischaemic stroke (1·30 [1·29–1·31]), but the association with intracerebral haemorrhage was about twice as steep (1·68 [1·65–1·71]). HRs for vascular disease were twice as steep at ages 40–49 years than at ages 70–79 years. Usual systolic blood pressure was also positively associated with incident chronic kidney disease (1·40 [1·35–1·44]) and diabetes (1·14 [1·12–1·15]). About half of all vascular deaths in China were attributable to elevated blood pressure (ie, systolic blood pressure >120 mm Hg), accounting for approximately 1 million deaths (<80 years of age) annually.

          Interpretation

          Among adults in China, systolic blood pressure was continuously related to major vascular disease with no evidence of a threshold down to 120 mm Hg. Unlike previous studies in high-income countries, blood pressure was more strongly associated with intracerebral haemorrhage than with ischaemic stroke. Even small reductions in mean blood pressure at a population level could be expected to have a major impact on vascular morbidity and mortality.

          Funding

          UK Wellcome Trust, UK Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Kadoorie Charitable Foundation, Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, and the National Science Foundation of China.

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          Most cited references 39

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          Age-specific relevance of usual blood pressure to vascular mortality: a meta-analysis of individual data for one million adults in 61 prospective studies.

          The age-specific relevance of blood pressure to cause-specific mortality is best assessed by collaborative meta-analysis of individual participant data from the separate prospective studies. Information was obtained on each of one million adults with no previous vascular disease recorded at baseline in 61 prospective observational studies of blood pressure and mortality. During 12.7 million person-years at risk, there were about 56000 vascular deaths (12000 stroke, 34000 ischaemic heart disease [IHD], 10000 other vascular) and 66000 other deaths at ages 40-89 years. Meta-analyses, involving "time-dependent" correction for regression dilution, related mortality during each decade of age at death to the estimated usual blood pressure at the start of that decade. Within each decade of age at death, the proportional difference in the risk of vascular death associated with a given absolute difference in usual blood pressure is about the same down to at least 115 mm Hg usual systolic blood pressure (SBP) and 75 mm Hg usual diastolic blood pressure (DBP), below which there is little evidence. At ages 40-69 years, each difference of 20 mm Hg usual SBP (or, approximately equivalently, 10 mm Hg usual DBP) is associated with more than a twofold difference in the stroke death rate, and with twofold differences in the death rates from IHD and from other vascular causes. All of these proportional differences in vascular mortality are about half as extreme at ages 80-89 years as at ages 40-49 years, but the annual absolute differences in risk are greater in old age. The age-specific associations are similar for men and women, and for cerebral haemorrhage and cerebral ischaemia. For predicting vascular mortality from a single blood pressure measurement, the average of SBP and DBP is slightly more informative than either alone, and pulse pressure is much less informative. Throughout middle and old age, usual blood pressure is strongly and directly related to vascular (and overall) mortality, without any evidence of a threshold down to at least 115/75 mm Hg.
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            A Randomized Trial of Intensive versus Standard Blood-Pressure Control.

            The most appropriate targets for systolic blood pressure to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality among persons without diabetes remain uncertain.
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              Global, regional, and national age-sex specific mortality for 264 causes of death, 1980–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016

              Summary Background Monitoring levels and trends in premature mortality is crucial to understanding how societies can address prominent sources of early death. The Global Burden of Disease 2016 Study (GBD 2016) provides a comprehensive assessment of cause-specific mortality for 264 causes in 195 locations from 1980 to 2016. This assessment includes evaluation of the expected epidemiological transition with changes in development and where local patterns deviate from these trends. Methods We estimated cause-specific deaths and years of life lost (YLLs) by age, sex, geography, and year. YLLs were calculated from the sum of each death multiplied by the standard life expectancy at each age. We used the GBD cause of death database composed of: vital registration (VR) data corrected for under-registration and garbage coding; national and subnational verbal autopsy (VA) studies corrected for garbage coding; and other sources including surveys and surveillance systems for specific causes such as maternal mortality. To facilitate assessment of quality, we reported on the fraction of deaths assigned to GBD Level 1 or Level 2 causes that cannot be underlying causes of death (major garbage codes) by location and year. Based on completeness, garbage coding, cause list detail, and time periods covered, we provided an overall data quality rating for each location with scores ranging from 0 stars (worst) to 5 stars (best). We used robust statistical methods including the Cause of Death Ensemble model (CODEm) to generate estimates for each location, year, age, and sex. We assessed observed and expected levels and trends of cause-specific deaths in relation to the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a summary indicator derived from measures of average income per capita, educational attainment, and total fertility, with locations grouped into quintiles by SDI. Relative to GBD 2015, we expanded the GBD cause hierarchy by 18 causes of death for GBD 2016. Findings The quality of available data varied by location. Data quality in 25 countries rated in the highest category (5 stars), while 48, 30, 21, and 44 countries were rated at each of the succeeding data quality levels. Vital registration or verbal autopsy data were not available in 27 countries, resulting in the assignment of a zero value for data quality. Deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) represented 72·3% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 71·2–73·2) of deaths in 2016 with 19·3% (18·5–20·4) of deaths in that year occurring from communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional (CMNN) diseases and a further 8·43% (8·00–8·67) from injuries. Although age-standardised rates of death from NCDs decreased globally between 2006 and 2016, total numbers of these deaths increased; both numbers and age-standardised rates of death from CMNN causes decreased in the decade 2006–16—age-standardised rates of deaths from injuries decreased but total numbers varied little. In 2016, the three leading global causes of death in children under-5 were lower respiratory infections, neonatal preterm birth complications, and neonatal encephalopathy due to birth asphyxia and trauma, combined resulting in 1·80 million deaths (95% UI 1·59 million to 1·89 million). Between 1990 and 2016, a profound shift toward deaths at older ages occurred with a 178% (95% UI 176–181) increase in deaths in ages 90–94 years and a 210% (208–212) increase in deaths older than age 95 years. The ten leading causes by rates of age-standardised YLL significantly decreased from 2006 to 2016 (median annualised rate of change was a decrease of 2·89%); the median annualised rate of change for all other causes was lower (a decrease of 1·59%) during the same interval. Globally, the five leading causes of total YLLs in 2016 were cardiovascular diseases; diarrhoea, lower respiratory infections, and other common infectious diseases; neoplasms; neonatal disorders; and HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. At a finer level of disaggregation within cause groupings, the ten leading causes of total YLLs in 2016 were ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, lower respiratory infections, diarrhoeal diseases, road injuries, malaria, neonatal preterm birth complications, HIV/AIDS, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and neonatal encephalopathy due to birth asphyxia and trauma. Ischaemic heart disease was the leading cause of total YLLs in 113 countries for men and 97 countries for women. Comparisons of observed levels of YLLs by countries, relative to the level of YLLs expected on the basis of SDI alone, highlighted distinct regional patterns including the greater than expected level of YLLs from malaria and from HIV/AIDS across sub-Saharan Africa; diabetes mellitus, especially in Oceania; interpersonal violence, notably within Latin America and the Caribbean; and cardiomyopathy and myocarditis, particularly in eastern and central Europe. The level of YLLs from ischaemic heart disease was less than expected in 117 of 195 locations. Other leading causes of YLLs for which YLLs were notably lower than expected included neonatal preterm birth complications in many locations in both south Asia and southeast Asia, and cerebrovascular disease in western Europe. Interpretation The past 37 years have featured declining rates of communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases across all quintiles of SDI, with faster than expected gains for many locations relative to their SDI. A global shift towards deaths at older ages suggests success in reducing many causes of early death. YLLs have increased globally for causes such as diabetes mellitus or some neoplasms, and in some locations for causes such as drug use disorders, and conflict and terrorism. Increasing levels of YLLs might reflect outcomes from conditions that required high levels of care but for which effective treatments remain elusive, potentially increasing costs to health systems. Funding Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [a ]Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
                [b ]Medical Research Council Population Health Research Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
                [c ]Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China
                [d ]Qingdao Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Qingdao, China
                [e ]National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, Beijing, China
                [f ]Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence to: Dr Ben Lacey, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7LF, UK ben.lacey@ 123456ndph.ox.ac.uk
                [** ]Prof Liming Li, School of Public Health, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing 100191, China lmlee@ 123456vip.163.com
                [*]

                Joint first authorship

                [†]

                Joint senior authors

                [‡]

                Members listed in the appendix

                Contributors
                Journal
                Lancet Glob Health
                Lancet Glob Health
                The Lancet. Global Health
                Elsevier Ltd
                2214-109X
                14 May 2018
                June 2018
                14 May 2018
                : 6
                : 6
                : e641-e649
                29773120 5960069 S2214-109X(18)30217-1 10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30217-1
                © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an Open Access article under the CC BY 4.0 license

                This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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