In Russia, cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality is high and the mortality gap between men and women is large. Conventional risk factors cannot explain these phenomena. Ventricular arrhythmia (VA) is an important contributor to the death toll in community-based populations. The study examines the prevalence and the mortality impacts of VA in men and women and the role of VA in the male mortality excess at older ages.
This is a secondary analysis of data from the Stress, Aging, and Health in Russia (SAHR) study that was fielded in 2007–9 in Moscow (1800 individuals, mean age 68.8 years), with mean mortality follow-up of 7.4 years (416 deaths, 248 CVD deaths). Indicators reflecting the frequency and the complexity of VA were derived from 24-h ambulatory ECG recordings. Other covariates were: socio-demographic characteristics, conventional risk factors, markers of inflammation, reported myocardial infarction, and stroke. The impacts of VA and other variables on CVD and all-cause mortality among men and women were estimated with the proportional hazard models. We assessed the contributions of VAs to the male–female mortality gap using hazard models that do and do not include groups of the predictors. Logistic models were used to assess the associations between VA and other biomarkers.
VAs were about twice as prevalent among men as among women. In both sexes, they were significantly associated with CVD and all-cause mortality independently of conventional risk factors. The highest hazard ratios (HRs) for CVD death were found for the runs of ventricular premature complexes (VPCs) HR = 2.45, 95% CI 1.63–3.68 for men and 2.75, 95% CI 1.18–6.40 for women. The mortality impacts of the polymorphic VPCs were significant among men only (HR = 1.50, 95% CI 1.08–2.07). VA indicators can potentially explain 12.3% and 9.1% of the male–female gaps in mortality from CVD and all causes, respectively. VAs were associated with ECG-registered ischemic problems and reported MI, particularly among men.
VA indicators predicted mortality in older Muscovites independently of other risk factors, and have the potential to explain a non-trivial share of the excess male mortality. The latter may be related to more severe coronary problems in men compared to women.
Uncontrolled hypertension is a major cardiovascular risk factor. We examined uncontrolled hypertension and differences in treatment regimens between a high-risk country, Russia, and low-risk Norway to gain better understanding of the underlying factors.
Population-based survey data on 40–69 year olds with hypertension defined as taking antihypertensives and/or having high blood pressure (140+/90+ mmHg) were obtained from Know Your Heart Study (KYH, N = 2284), Russian Federation (2015–2018) and seventh wave of The Tromsø Study (Tromsø 7, N = 5939), Norway (2015–2016). Uncontrolled hypertension was studied in the subset taking antihypertensives (KYH: N = 1584; Tromsø 7: 2792)and defined as having high blood pressure (140+/90+ mmHg). Apparent treatment resistant hypertension (aTRH) was defined as individuals with uncontrolled hypertension on 3+ OR controlled on 4+ antihypertensive classes in the same subset.
Among all those with hypertension regardless of treatment status, control of blood pressure was achieved in 22% of men (KYH and Tromsø 7), while among women it was 33% in Tromsø 7 and 43% in KYH. When the analysis was limited to those on treatment for hypertension, the percentage uncontrolled was higher in KYH (47.8%, CI 95 44.6–50.9%) than Tromsø 7 (38.2, 36.1–40.5%). The corresponding figures for aTRH were 9.8% (8.2–11.7%) and 5.7% (4.8–6.8%).
Antihypertensive monotherapies were more common than combinations and used by 58% in Tromsø 7 and 44% in KYH. In both KYH and Tromsø 7, untreated hypertension was higher in men, those with no GP visit in the past year and problem drinkers. In both studies, aTRH was associated with older age, CVD history, obesity, and diabetes. In Tromsø 7, also male gender and any drinking. In KYH, also chronic kidney disease.
There is considerable scope for promoting combination therapies in line with European treatment guidelines in both study populations. The factors associated with untreated hypertension overlap with known correlates of treatment non-adherence and health check non-attendance. In contrast, aTRH was characterised by obesity and underlying comorbidities potentially complicating treatment.