Background: Women are at greater risk of developing resistant hypertension (RH) than men, yet scarce data exist on RH-associated outcomes in women. We aimed to determine all-cause mortality risk associated with apparent RH (aRH) among women across the spectrum of underlying coronary disease.
Materials and methods: We analyzed data from St. James Women Take Heart (WTH; women without coronary disease at baseline), Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (women with signs/symptoms of ischemia at baseline), and the INternational VErapamil-Trandolapril STudy (INVEST; women with coronary artery disease and hypertension at baseline), totaling 15,108 adult women with no hypertension, non-RH (blood pressure [BP] ≥140/90 mmHg on ≤2 drugs or BP <140/90 mmHg on 1-3 drugs), or aRH (BP ≥140/90 mmHg on ≥3 drugs or anyone on ≥4 drugs) at baseline. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality.
Results: Prevalence of aRH ranged from 0.4% (WTH) to 10.6% (INVEST). Women with aRH, compared to those without, were older, more often black, and more likely to be obese or diabetic. Pooling all cohorts, risk for all-cause death was greater in women with aRH than in women with non-RH (adjusted HR 1.40; 95% CI 1.27-1.55) and women without hypertension (adjusted HR 2.34; 95% CI 1.76-3.11) over a median follow-up of 14.3 years.
Conclusions: aRH prevalence in women varies according to underlying coronary disease, and aRH is associated with a substantial, early, and sustained increased risk of all-cause death. Additional research into early recognition and prevention strategies for RH are needed, especially in black and older women, and those with known cardiovascular risk factors.
Keywords: INVEST; WISE; hypertension; mortality; resistant hypertension; women.