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Systolic blood pressure (SBP) treatment targets for adults with diabetes mellitus remain unclear. SBP levels among 12 275 adults with diabetes mellitus, prior cardiovascular disease, and treated hypertension were evaluated in the TECOS (Trial Evaluating Cardiovascular Outcomes With Sitagliptin) randomized trial of sitagliptin versus placebo. The association between baseline SBP and recurrent cardiovascular disease was evaluated using multivariable Cox proportional hazards modeling with restricted cubic splines, adjusting for clinical characteristics. Kaplan-Meier curves by baseline SBP were created to assess time to cardiovascular disease and 2 potential hypotension-related adverse events: worsening kidney function and fractures. The association between time-updated SBP and outcomes was examined using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models. Overall, 42.2% of adults with diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension had an SBP ≥140 mm Hg. The association between SBP and cardiovascular disease risk was U shaped, with a nadir ≈130 mm Hg. When the analysis was restricted to those with baseline SBP of 110 to 150 mm Hg, the adjusted association between SBP and cardiovascular disease risk was flat (hazard ratio per 10-mm Hg increase, 0.96; 95% confidence interval, 0.91-1.02). There was no association between SBP and risk of fracture. Above 150 mm Hg, higher SBP was associated with increasing risk of worsening kidney function (hazard ratio per 10-mm Hg increase, 1.10; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.18). Many patients with diabetes mellitus have uncontrolled hypertension. The U-shaped association between SBP and cardiovascular disease events was largely driven by those with very high or low SBP, with no difference in cardiovascular disease risk between 110 and 150 mm Hg. Lower SBP was not associated with higher risks of fractures or worsening kidney function.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





907 - 914


blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hypotension, Aged, Antihypertensive Agents, Blood Pressure, Blood Pressure Determination, Cardiovascular Diseases, Comorbidity, Diabetes Mellitus, Drug Monitoring, Female, Humans, Hypertension, Hypoglycemic Agents, Male, Middle Aged, Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care, Proportional Hazards Models, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors, Sitagliptin Phosphate