Blood pressure profile in two adult male populations.
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Causal blood pressure measurements were recorded in two groups of men aged 40 to 64 years; of the 7024 men in metropolitan Saint John, NB, and the 4044 men in seven suburbs of Quebec who were asked, 5840 (83.1%) and 3097 (76.6%) respectively agreed to participate. Of the Saint John group 9.0% were taking antihypertensive drugs, as compared with only 3.3% of the Quebec group (p less than 0.0001). Among the treated subjects 33% in Saint John and 53% in Quebec still had a diastolic pressure greater than 95 mm Hg (p less than 0.01). Among the participants not taking antihypertensive drugs the systolic blood pressure increased with age, but the diastolic blood pressure increased only slightly up to 55 years of age and then decreased. On average the subjects in Saint John who were not being treated had a systolic pressure 6.2 mm Hg lower and a diastolic blood pressure 3.6 mm Hg lower than their Quebec counterparts (p less than 0.0001). This difference was observed in all the age groups and was not the result of the treatment of a greater proportion of the Saint John cohort. Despite the higher blood pressures and the smaller number receiving adequate treatment in the Quebec group, the rate of death due to coronary artery disease was 10% lower than that in the Saint John group. A bias in the data from Quebec may have influenced the magnitude of the differences between the two samples, but if present it should have underestimated the blood pressures in the Quebec group and therefore not have changed the outcome.
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