BACKGROUND: Hypertension is a major contributor to cardiovascular diseases and premature death. Despite widespread use of antihypertensive medication, it remains a concern, therefore determining factors that contribute to such a high burden of disease is critically important. This study examined anthropometric and physical measurements, as well as blood and saliva biomarkers, as predictors for hypertension using datasets from the 2008 Health and Retirement Study.
METHODS: A total of 2924 participants (aged 74.84 ± 6.45 years) were included. Binary logistic regression was performed to ascertain the effects of sex, age, telomere length, C-reactive protein (CRP), BMI, and additional markers on the odds of developing hypertension.
RESULTS: Males had 2.3 times the odds (OR = 2.313 CI 95% (1.391, 3.845); p = 0.001) of being hypertensive if they were obese, females had 1.7 times the odds (OR = 1.788 CI 95% (1.260,2.536); p = 0.001) if overweight, and 2.4 times (OR = 2.479 CI 95% (1.693, 3.630); p < 0.001) if obese. Age in females was an independent predictor where every one-year increase in age was tied to a 5.1% increase in being hypertensive (OR = 1.051 CI 95% (1.027, 1.075); p <0.001) and, CRP (>3mg/L) had 1.4 times the odds (OR = 1.447 CI 95% (1.079, 1.942); p = 0.014).
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides verification for BMI as a predictor for hypertension and proposes age and CRP as predictors for females. Specific sex differences and life stage should be considered when evaluating hypertension risk to improve clinical outcomes and promote healthy aging.