Poor adherence to antihypertensive drugs

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 17 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5606

In this 10-minute consultation by Mohammed Awais Hameed and colleagues (BMJ 2016;354:i3268, doi:10.1136/bmj.i3268), the final sentence of the first paragraph under the heading “Discuss risk” should not have read: “For example, ‘In a population of 100 people aged 40-69, with every 2 mm Hg rise in blood pressure, 10 people are at risk of dying from a stroke and seven people are at a risk of dying from heart disease such as a heart attack.’”

The increased risk of stroke and cardiac mortality with each 2 mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure in the second sentence of the paragraph refers to relative risk, and so this example is misleading.

The sentence should have read, “For example, if a middle aged person’s current risk of death from heart attack or stroke is 20% in the next 10 years, this risk is likely to increase to 21.4% or 22% respectively if blood pressure rises by only 2 mm Hg from the current reading.”

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