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In the Eighth Joint National Committee guideline on hypertension, the threshold for the initiation of blood pressure-lowering treatment for elderly adults (≥60 years) without chronic kidney disease or diabetes mellitus was raised from 140/90 mm Hg to 150/90 mm Hg. However, the committee was not unanimous in this decision, particularly because a large proportion of adults ≥60 years may be at high cardiovascular risk. On the basis of Eighth Joint National Committee guideline, we sought to determine the absolute 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease among these adults through analyzing the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005-2012). The primary outcome measure was the proportion of adults who were at ≥20% predicted absolute cardiovascular risk and above goals for the Seventh Joint National Committee guideline but reclassified as at target under the Eighth Joint National Committee guideline (reclassified). The Framingham General Cardiovascular Disease Risk Score was used. From 2005 to 2012, the surveys included 12 963 adults aged 30 to 74 years with blood pressure measurements, of which 914 were reclassified based on the guideline. Among individuals reclassified as not in need of additional treatment, the proportion of adults 60 to 74 years without chronic kidney disease or diabetes mellitus at ≥20% absolute risk was 44.8%. This corresponds to 0.8 million adults. The proportion at high cardiovascular risk remained sizable among adults who were not receiving blood pressure-lowering treatment. Taken together, a sizable proportion of reclassified adults 60 to 74 years without chronic kidney disease or diabetes mellitus was at ≥20% absolute cardiovascular risk.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





280 - 285


aged, epidemiology, hypertension, Adult, Aged, Antihypertensive Agents, Blood Pressure, Cardiovascular Diseases, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Humans, Hypertension, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Numbers Needed To Treat, Nutrition Surveys, Risk Factors, United States