Lack of a significant legacy effect of baseline blood pressure 'treatment naivety' on all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in the Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial

Chau L.B. Ho, Monique Breslin, Enayet K. Chowdhury, Jenny Doust, Christopher M. Reid, Barry R. Davis, Lara M. Simpson, Mark R. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objectives: To investigate legacy effects at 14-year follow-up of all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in 'treatment-naive' or 'previous treatment' groups based on blood pressure (BP)-lowering treatment status at baseline. Methods: A post-hoc observational study of the Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial. We excluded participants with a previous history of CVD events. Cox proportional hazard model and 95% confidence interval were used to estimate the effects of treatment naive on mortality outcomes. Moreover, a subgroup analysis by estimated 10-year Framingham risk score was performed. Results: In multivariable models adjusting for baseline and in-trial characteristics (BP values and number of BP medications as time-dependent variables), there was no statistically significant difference in 5 and 14-year all-cause mortality with a hazard ratio of 0.93 (95% confidence interval 0.80-1.09) and hazard ratio 0.95 (0.88-1.03) and in 5 and 14-year CVD mortality hazard ratio 0.94 (0.72-1.23) and hazard ratio 0.93 (0.80-1.08). In subgroup by absolute CVD risk, no heterogeneity of the association between treatment naive and short-term or long-term all-cause or CVD mortality were found. All comparisons are between the treatment-naive and previous treatment groups. Conclusion: Physicians are concerned about 'legacy effects' of not treating individuals with a BP of 140mmHg or over and low absolute risk. When treatment intensification was taken into consideration in the primary prevention population in this study, no adverse legacy effect as a result of baseline BP 'treatment naivety' was evident in 14 years of follow-up. The nonsignificant associations were consistent across the CVD risk subgroups. However, the results may be biased due to unobserved residual confounding and therefore should be interpreted with caution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-526
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • absolute cardiovascular risk
  • all-cause mortality
  • antihypertensive drug
  • cardiovascular disease
  • cardiovascular disease mortality
  • hypertension
  • primary prevention

Cite this