A few epidemiologic studies have shown an increased risk of death from external causes among men with hypertension. Previous studies were limited by small numbers of events, however, and none assessed the association of blood pressure with specific types of "accidental" death. The authors examined data obtained from baseline interviews and 25 years of mortality follow-up (1973-1999) for 347,978 men screened for the US Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial. Proportional hazards regression analyses were used to quantify associations of blood pressure with all external causes of death and individual causes. There were 3,910 deaths from external causes, including 2,313 unintentional injuries, 1,248 suicides, and 349 homicides. Compared with those for men whose blood pressure status was "normal" according to the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure, the multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for death from external causes among men with prehypertension, stage 1 hypertension, and stage 2 hypertension were 0.91 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.83, 1.00), 1.06 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.16), and 1.44 (95% CI: 1.28, 1.62), respectively. Men with stage 2 hypertension had multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios of 1.90 for falls (95% CI: 1.32, 2.74), 1.45 for motor vehicle injuries (95% CI: 1.14, 1.85), 1.33 for other "accidents" (95% CI: 1.06, 1.66), 1.40 for suicide (95% CI: 1.13, 1.73), and 1.35 for homicide (95% CI: 0.92, 1.97). For men, hypertension may signal an increased risk of death from external causes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial was conducted under contract with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Bethesda, Maryland. This work was supported by NHLBI grants R01-HL-43232 and R01-HL-68140. Dr. Abramson is supported by grant K23 HL075295-01A1 from the National Institutes of Health.
- Accidental falls
- Epidemiologic studies