Degree of Joint Risk Factor Control and Incident Heart Failure in Hypertensive Patients

JACC Heart Fail. 2023 Feb 13;S2213-1779(23)00035-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2023.01.006. Online ahead of print.


Background: Heart failure (HF) is a major complication in patients with hypertension.

Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the extent to which joint risk factor control could attenuate hypertension-related excess risk of HF.

Methods: The study included a total of 75,293 participants with diagnosed hypertension from the UK Biobank and matched with 256,619 nonhypertensive control subjects, followed up until May 31, 2021. The degree of joint risk factor control was assessed on the basis of the major cardiovascular risk factors, including blood pressure, body mass index, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, hemoglobin A1c, albuminuria, smoking, and physical activity. The Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate associations between the degree of risk factor control and risk of HF.

Results: Among hypertensive patients, joint risk factor control showed an association with a stepwise reduction of incident HF risk. Each additional risk factor control was related to a 20% lower risk, and the optimal risk factor control (controlling ≥6 risk factors) was associated with a 62% lower risk (HR: 0.38; 95% CI: 0.31-0.45). In addition, the study found that the hypertension-related excess risk of HF among participants jointly controlling ≥6 risk factors were even lower than in nonhypertensive control subjects (HR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.67-0.94). The protective associations of joint risk factor control and risk of incident HF were broadly stronger among men than women and among medication users than nonusers (P for interaction < 0.05).

Conclusions: The joint risk factor control is associated with a lower risk of incident HF in an accumulative and sex-specific manner. Optimal risk factor control may eliminate hypertension-related excess risk of HF.

Keywords: heart failure; hypertension; risk factor.