Skip to main content

Blood pressure and heart failure



Hypertension is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and death. It affects a substantial proportion of the population worldwide, and remains underdiagnosed and undertreated.


Long-standing high blood pressure leads to left ventricular hypertrophy and diastolic dysfunction that cause an increase in myocardial rigidity, which renders the myocardium less compliant to changes in the preload, afterload, and sympathetic tone. Adequate blood pressure control must be achieved in patients with hypertension to prevent progression to overt heart failure. Controlling blood pressure is also important in patients with established heart failure, especially among those with preserved ejection fractions. However, aggressive blood pressure lowering can cause adverse outcomes, because a reverse J-curve association may exist between the blood pressure and the outcomes of patients with heart failure. Little robust evidence exists regarding the optimal blood pressure target for patients with heart failure, but a value near 130/80 mmHg seems to be adequate according to the current guidelines.


Prospective studies are required to further investigate the optimal blood pressure target for patients with heart failure.


Hypertension (HTN) affects a substantial portion of the population worldwide, more than 7.5 million deaths per year are attributable to HTN [1], and HTN is the single most important contributor to mortality and morbidity. Individuals with high blood pressure (BP) are more susceptible to ischemic heart disease, and studies’ findings have shown that these patients may have a six-fold greater risk of a myocardial infarction [2]. HTN is also associated with the prevalence of atrial fibrillation [3] and ventricular arrhythmias [4]. Indeed, among those who participated in the Framingham Heart Study and not having histories of HTN and cardiovascular (CV) disease (n = 6859), the risk of developing CV disease in individuals with BPs ≥ 130/85 mmHg was almost triple that of participants with BPs < 120/80 mmHg [5]. In addition, diabetes and dyslipidemia frequently coexist with HTN [6, 7], which further increase the risk of CV disease.

The findings from different trials have demonstrated an association between long-standing HTN and heart failure (HF). A meta-analysis of 23 BP-lowering trials showed that 28.9% of the patients developed HF, which amounted to 8.5 events per 1000 patients [8]. Of the individuals in the Framingham Heart Study cohort, 91% of the participants with HF had a previous diagnosis of HTN, and compared with the normotensive individuals, the male and female patients with HTN had 2- and 3-fold increased risks, respectively, of developing HF [2]. Furthermore, the population-attributable risks of HF were 39 and 59% for the male and female participants, respectively [2], and the risk was even higher for the older individuals, with HF being attributable to elevated BP in up to 68% of the patients [9].

Chronic HTN causes structural and functional changes in the heart that ultimately lead to HF, which further increases mortality and morbidity. Although treating high BP intensively prevents and reverses myocardial changes in patients at risk of HF, defining the optimal BP target for patients with established HF is challenging, because the evidence is inconsistent and scarce. In this brief review, we aim to provide an insight into the pathophysiology of hypertensive heart disease and to summarize the current evidence relating to BP control in the prevention and treatment of HF.

Pathophysiology of hypertensive heart disease

High BP increases the left ventricular (LV) afterload and peripheral vascular resistance, and prolonged exposure to an increased load leads to pressure- and volume-mediated LV structural remodeling [2, 10]. Ventricular hypertrophy is an initial compensatory mechanism in response to the chronic pressure overload that preserves the cardiac output and delays cardiac failure. However, the remodeled left ventricle is likely to decompensate, and HF can develop as a consequence of increased LV stiffness and the presence of diastolic dysfunction [11].

Diastolic dysfunction is one of the first changes observed in a heart that has been exposed to an increased load. In response to LV end-diastolic pressure elevations, the left ventricle becomes hypertrophied and more rigid, and additional changes are induced by neurohormonal pathways activated by the BP increase [12]. Ventricular hypertrophy can be divided into either concentric or eccentric hypertrophy by relative wall thickness (RWT). Concentric hypertrophy (RWT > 0.42) is associated with an increase in the thickness of the LV wall, while eccentric hypertrophy (RWT ≤0.42 is defined by the dilatation of the LV chamber [13]. A long-standing pressure overload is more likely to develop into concentric hypertrophy, while a volume overload is associated with eccentric hypertrophy. In chronic HTN, which involves both pressure and volume overloads, the LV hypertrophy can be concentric or eccentric, and these types are associated with HF with a preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) and HF with a reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), respectively. Demographic factors affect the response of the ventricle; hence, black patients are more likely than white patients to have concentric responses [14], and female and older patients are more prone to concentric changes [15, 16]. Patients with isolated systolic HTN and those with higher systolic BPs (SBPs) and ambulatory BPs are also more likely to exhibit concentric hypertrophy [17, 18]. Comorbid conditions can also affect the patterns of hypertrophy. For example, patients with diabetes are more prone to concentric changes [19], while patients with coronary artery disease and those who are obese are more likely to exhibit eccentric remodeling [20, 21]. Furthermore, the activation of neurohormonal pathways, including the renin-angiotensin system and the sympathetic nervous system [22], and extracellular matrix alterations induce changes in the ventricular mass and dimension [23].

Hypertensive HF primarily manifests as diastolic dysfunction, followed by concentric or eccentric LV hypertrophy. Diastolic dysfunction increases the LV filling pressure and left atrial (LA) volume, which, in turn, increase the pulmonary artery pressure [24].

The pathway from LV hypertrophy to overt HF is complex and unclear. Most patients with concentric hypertrophy develop HFpEF, but despite the absence of a history of myocardial infarction, some can progress to HFrEF. The development of HFpEF seems to be associated with changes in the extracellular matrix that cause progressive fibrosis of the myocardium and, subsequently, an increase in LV stiffness [25]. It is also possible that patients with eccentric LV hypertrophy will progress to either HFpEF or HFrEF. The changes in the heart caused by HTN were categorized over 25 years ago [12, 26], as follows: degree I: asymptomatic patients without LV hypertrophy, but with LV diastolic dysfunction; degree II: asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients with LV hypertrophy; degree III: clinical HF with a preserved ejection fraction (EF); and degree IV: dilated cardiomyopathy or HFrEF.

Prognosis of patients with left ventricular hypertrophy

Cardiac structural changes are mostly caused by a chronic rise in the BP, and they are markers of preclinical or asymptomatic CV disease [27]. The presence of an LV strain pattern, that is, LV hypertrophy, on a 12-lead electrocardiogram is an independent predictor of the CV outcome [28]. The findings from two-dimensional echocardiography suggest that LV hypertrophy is a significant predictor of mortality [29]. The Framingham Heart Study’s findings showed that the incidence of CV events was significantly higher among the patients with an LV mass index (LVMI) > 125 g/m2 than that among the patients with normal LVMIs [30]. Ventricular hypertrophy is also a major predictor of stroke and renal outcomes [31]. Echocardiography can also detect diastolic dysfunction, and it provides information about chamber geometry and systolic function. Three-dimensional echocardiography and magnetic resonance imaging provide more reliable measurements of ventricular geometry and function, but less evidence is available regarding patients’ prognoses [32].

Pulmonary edema

Patients with long-standing HTN are more sensitive to changes in pressure, volume, and sympathetic tone [33]. Although decompensated HF is usually considered a volume-overloaded state provoked by poor systolic function, the excess volume may not always be required for a patient to present with HF in those with LV hypertrophy and diastolic dysfunction. The reduced compliance of the ventricle and systemic vasculature in patients with hypertensive HF results in abnormal ventricular-vascular interactions [34]. The premature return of aortic pulse waves increases the resistance to the ventricular outflow, which, in turn, impedes the pulmonary venous flow towards the heart [33]. Consequently, small changes in the preload, afterload, or sympathetic tone can further increase the LV filling pressure, thereby disrupting the pulmonary capillary blood-gas barrier, which leads to flash pulmonary edema [12].

Hypertensive acute HF occurs when adverse conditions result in a volume redistribution and a shift from the splanchnic and peripheral vasculature to the pulmonary circulation. This ventricular-vascular uncoupling manifests as a rapid onset of pulmonary edema in patients with LV hypertrophy and diastolic dysfunction. Although intravenous diuretics are the first choice in treating acute HF with volume overload (Class I), reducing the preload and afterload using vasodilators (Class IIa, LOE B) should be also considered, as the volume overload might not be involved in the clinical congestion in some patients [33]. Residual pulmonary congestion persists in 30–40% of patients after hospital treatment [35], which suggests that relatively euvolemic patients require adequate diagnoses and treatment of pulmonary edema.

Prevalence of hypertension among heart failure patients

The prevalence of HTN as an HF etiology varies geographically and temporally (Table 1). The findings from the Korean Heart Failure (KorHF) study, which recruited 3200 patients with HF from 2004 to 2009, showed that 36.7% of the patients had hypertensive HF [37]. More recently, the findings from the Korean Acute Heart Failure (KorAHF) study, which enrolled 5625 patients from 2011 to 2014, showed that only 4% of the patients had HF caused by HTN [36]. Up to 30% of the patients in the Acute Decompensated Heart Failure National Registry (ADHERE) had a hypertensive etiology, and this was more prevalent among the patients with normal EFs [44]. The results from studies of other large dedicated HF registries have shown that HTN was the primary cause of HF in 11–23% of the patients [45, 46].

Table 1 Comparison of dedicated heart failure registries

In contrast, the presence of HTN as a comorbid condition in patients with HF has become more pronounced over time. The findings from studies of the KorHF and KorAHF registries showed that the prevalence of HTN increased from 47 to 59% over 10 years [36, 37]. The findings from a study of the ADHERE showed that 69% of patients with HFrEFs and 77% of the patients with HFpEFs had elevated BPs [47]. The frequent coexistence of HTN and HF is observed across all regions. Indeed, 55.4% of the patients in the Asian Sudden Cardiac Death in Heart Failure registry [38] and 65.6% of the patients in the European Society of Cardiology Heart Failure Long-Term registry [42] were diagnosed with HTN and HF. Insurance claims data from the United States of America suggest that HTN was the most commonly co-occurring clinical condition among Medicare beneficiaries with HF [48].

Whether HTN is a cause or a contributor to the development of HF is not clear. Although a BP elevation alone may not be sufficient to trigger HF, it increases the risk of CV diseases progressing to HF. For example, the activation of neurohormonal pathways induced by a persistent BP elevation in addition to LV hypertrophy could lead to adverse modifications of postinfarct ventricular remodeling, rendering the heart vulnerable to the development of HF after a myocardial infarction [49]. Factors, including an increased afterload, reduced arterial compliance, and the lack of a response to vasodilators, also affect cardiac output in the context of HF [50].

Blood pressure and heart failure prevention

Two issues arise regarding HF when treating HTN. The first is strictly controlling high BP to prevent structural remodeling and the development of HF. The presence of a J-curve association between BP and CV outcomes have been long debated, but evidence has been controversial [51, 52]. The current consensus is that strict control is mostly beneficial for hypertensive patients with low CV risk, while the risk of CV outcome increases in patients with high risk for coronary heart disease [53]. Recently, the findings from the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT), which assessed the role of intensive HTN treatment on a composite outcome that included HF, showed that a target SBP < 120 mmHg was associated with a 38% relative risk reduction in HF [54]. BP lowering in patients with ventricular hypertrophy can delay further remodeling and reduce the incidence of HF [55]. The LV hypertrophy induced by HTN is not unidirectional, and a regression of LV mass has been observed after the pharmacological treatment of elevated BP [43]. Improvements in LV hypertrophy have also been associated with reduced risks of CV events, including CV death, myocardial infarction, and stroke [56].

Identifying patients at an increased risk of developing hypertensive HF is important to enable attentive monitoring and begin timely treatment. LA enlargement in the absence of mitral valve disease could be a marker of diastolic dysfunction; this has been demonstrated by the correlation between the LA volume and the natriuretic peptide levels in asymptomatic patients with preserved systolic function [57]. Biomarkers such as uric acid, metalloproteinases, and natriuretic peptides, may also predict the development of HF in patients with HTN [58]. Patients with HTN and a high clinical risk of HF should be screened regularly for diastolic dysfunction or LV hypertrophy to prevent progression to advanced disease.

HTN treatment relies on many classes of drugs, including angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers (CCBs), and diuretics. A meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials that analyzed HF as an outcome showed significant reductions in the new-onset HF rates in association with all of these classes of drug, except for ARBs, which may have been a consequence of the small number trials reviewed. The findings from head-to-head comparisons of the different drug classes have shown that CCBs seem to be inferior at preventing HF compared with ACE inhibitors/ARBs, beta-blockers, and diuretics; however, the inferiority of the CCBs was largely attributable to differences in the use of concomitant drugs [59]. Thiazide-like diuretics, which are widely used to treat HTN, but are not frequently used in patients with HF, also reduced the new-onset HF rate compared with placebo [60], which suggests that reducing the BP itself is probably the most important factor in HF prevention. Indeed, for every 10mmHg reduction in SBP, the HF rate declines by 12% [54]. Currently, no specific class of drugs is recommended for the prevention of HF in patients with HTN, and patients should be treated according to the guidelines [61].

Treatment of hypertension in patients with heart failure: the J-curve phenomenon

The other issue regarding HF and HTN is managing high BP in established HF patients. Treating high BP is more complicated in patients with established HF, but it remains important with respect to HF progression and patients’ prognoses. As all medications that have favorable effects on HF outcomes lower BP to some extent, we can assume that a close relationship exists between BP and HF outcomes. However, data describing the optimal BP in patients with HF are limited and contradictory. The findings from the OPTIMIZE-HF (Organized Program to Initiate Lifesaving Treatment in Hospitalized Patients with Heart Failure) trial suggested that BP elevations in patients with HF were associated with lower in-hospital mortality rates [46, 62]. A meta-analysis of 8000 patients with chronic HF also confirmed a trend towards better outcomes in patients with higher BPs [63]. Findings from the COPERNICUS (Carvedilol Prospective Randomized Cumulative Survival) and CHARM (Candesartan in Heart Failure: Assessment of Reduction in Mortality and Morbidity) trials showed that the benefits of these treatments persisted, regardless of a patient’s BP, but the statistical significance of the findings was marginal among the patients with lower BPs [64, 65]. Finally, the PARADIGM (Prospective Comparison of angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitor (ARNI) with an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor to Determine Impact on Global Mortality and Morbidity in Heart Failure) study findings show that, although the benefit of sacubitril/valsartan over enalapril was still evident in patients with SBP < 120 mmHg, it was significantly more decreased than those with SBP ≥120 mmHg [66]. However, the findings of a recent prospective cohort study has demonstrated that a higher SBP, diastolic BP, and pulse pressure were associated with higher rates of adverse events among patients with incident HF [67].

The relationship between BP and the HF prognosis is not necessarily always linear. A J-curve that is similar to that which describes the relationship between the BP and CV outcomes, has been indicated repeatedly in patients with HTN [68,69,70]. The findings from a study of the KorAHF registry showed that a reverse J-curve relationship was evident between the treatment of BP and the outcomes of patients who were hospitalized for HF [71], and that the risks of mortality and readmission increased at low and high BPs, with similar trends for patients with HFrEFs and HFpEFs (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1
figure 1

Restricted Cubic Splines Model for All-Cause Mortality According to On-Treatment BP. a SBP: all population. b SBP: heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (EF). c SBP: heart failure with preserved EF. d DBP: all population. e DBP: heart failure with reduced EF (EF). f DBP: heart failure with preserved EF. SBP, systolic blood pressure; DBP, diastolic blood pressure. Reprinted from JACC: Heart Failure, Vol 5, Lee SE, et al., Reverse J-Curve Relationship Between On-Treatment Blood Pressure and Mortality in Patients With Heart Failure, 810–819 No.11, 2017, with permission from Elsevier [36]

The trade-off between prescribing adequate doses of guideline-directed medical treatments and maintaining a lower BP threshold is an issue that many physicians encounter in daily practice. The benefits of treatment in relation to the outcomes must be weighed against the adverse effects induced by lower BPs. Although medications with survival benefits remain effective within lower BP thresholds, no definitive evidence is available that supports intensive BP treatment. The current evidence suggests that all patients with HF should receive triple therapy comprising ACE inhibitors or ARBs, beta-blockers, and diuretics, with the doses adjusted to maintain an adequate BP, and if a patient remains hypertensive, thiazide-like diuretics can be added [12]. Based on the available evidence, the Korean Society of Hypertension’s guidelines recommend an optimal BP that is close to 130/80 mmHg when treating patients with established HF [61].


Among patients with chronic HTN, structural and functional changes in the heart can lead to the development of HF. BP management not only prevents asymptomatic HTN-mediated organ damage that can cause HF but can also prevent further disease progression. The intensive control of BP is recommended for patients with HTN who are at risk of HF; however, the optimal range within which BP should be controlled and the benefits of intensive BP control in patients with established HF remain unclear. Future randomized clinical trials are warranted to understand the complex association between BP and patients’ prognoses in the context of HF management.

Availability of data and materials

Not applicable.



Angiotensin-converting enzyme


Acute Decompensated Heart Failure National Registry


Angiotensin receptor blocker


Blood pressure


Calcium channel blocker




Ejection fraction


Heart failure


Heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction


Heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction




Korean Acute Heart Failure


Korean Heart Failure


Left atrial


Left ventricular


LV mass index


Systolic blood pressure


  1. WHO. World Health Organization Global Health Observatory (GHO) data. Available from: Accessed 18 Sept 2019.

  2. Levy D, Larson MG, Vasan RS, Kannel WB, Ho KK. The progression from hypertension to congestive heart failure. JAMA. 1996;275:1557–62.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Kannel WB, Wolf PA, Benjamin EJ, Levy D. Prevalence, incidence, prognosis, and predisposing conditions for atrial fibrillation: population-based estimates. Am J Cardiol. 1998;82:2N–9N.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. McLenachan JM, Henderson E, Morris KI, Dargie HJ. Ventricular arrhythmias in patients with hypertensive left ventricular hypertrophy. N Engl J Med. 1987;317:787–92.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Vasan RS, Larson MG, Leip EP, Evans JC, O'Donnell CJ, Kannel WB, et al. Impact of high-normal blood pressure on the risk of cardiovascular disease. N Engl J Med. 2001;345:1291–7.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. de Boer IH, Bangalore S, Benetos A, Davis AM, Michos ED, Muntner P, et al. Diabetes and Hypertension: A Position Statement by the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care. 2017;40:1273–84.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Otsuka T, Takada H, Nishiyama Y, Kodani E, Saiki Y, Kato K, et al. Dyslipidemia and the Risk of Developing Hypertension in a Working-Age Male Population. J Am Heart Assoc. 2016;5:e003053.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  8. Tocci G, Sciarretta S, Volpe M. Development of heart failure in recent hypertension trials. J Hypertens. 2008;26:1477–86.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Yamasaki N, Kitaoka H, Matsumura Y, Furuno T, Nishinaga M, Doi Y. Heart failure in the elderly. Intern Med. 2003;42:383–8.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Kenchaiah S, Pfeffer MA. Cardiac remodeling in systemic hypertension. Med Clin North Am. 2004;88:115–30.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Lazzeroni D, Rimoldi O, Camici PG. From Left Ventricular Hypertrophy to Dysfunction and Failure. Circ J. 2016;80:555–64.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Messerli FH, Rimoldi SF, Bangalore S. The Transition From Hypertension to Heart Failure: Contemporary Update. JACC Heart Fail. 2017;5:543–51.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Mȕller AL. Differences in Concentric Cardiac Hypertrophy and Eccentric Hypertrophy. Cardiac Adaptations Advances in Biochemistry in Health and Disease; 2013.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Kizer JR, Arnett DK, Bella JN, Paranicas M, Rao DC, Province MA, et al. Differences in left ventricular structure between black and white hypertensive adults: the Hypertension Genetic Epidemiology Network study. Hypertension. 2004;43:1182–8.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Krumholz HM, Larson M, Levy D. Sex differences in cardiac adaptation to isolated systolic hypertension. Am J Cardiol. 1993;72:310–3.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Chahal NS, Lim TK, Jain P, Chambers JC, Kooner JS, Senior R. New insights into the relationship of left ventricular geometry and left ventricular mass with cardiac function: A population study of hypertensive subjects. Eur Heart J. 2010;31:588–94.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Ganau A, Devereux RB, Roman MJ, de Simone G, Pickering TG, Saba PS, et al. Patterns of left ventricular hypertrophy and geometric remodeling in essential hypertension. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1992;19:1550–8.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Devereux RB, James GD, Pickering TG. What is normal blood pressure? Comparison of ambulatory pressure level and variability in patients with normal or abnormal left ventricular geometry. Am J Hypertens. 1993;6:211S–5S.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Palmieri V, Bella JN, Arnett DK, Liu JE, Oberman A, Schuck MY, et al. Effect of type 2 diabetes mellitus on left ventricular geometry and systolic function in hypertensive subjects: Hypertension Genetic Epidemiology Network (HyperGEN) study. Circulation. 2001;103:102–7.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Zabalgoitia M, Berning J, Koren MJ, Stoylen A, Nieminen MS, Dahlof B, et al. Impact of coronary artery disease on left ventricular systolic function and geometry in hypertensive patients with left ventricular hypertrophy (the LIFE study). Am J Cardiol. 2001;88:646–50.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Gottdiener JS, Reda DJ, Materson BJ, Massie BM, Notargiacomo A, Hamburger RJ, et al. Importance of obesity, race and age to the cardiac structural and functional effects of hypertension. The Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Study Group on Antihypertensive Agents. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1994;24:1492–8.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. du Cailar G, Pasquie JL, Ribstein J, Mimran A. Left ventricular adaptation to hypertension and plasma renin activity. J Hum Hypertens. 2000;14:181–8.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. Lopez B, Gonzalez A, Querejeta R, Larman M, Diez J. Alterations in the pattern of collagen deposition may contribute to the deterioration of systolic function in hypertensive patients with heart failure. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006;48:89–96.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. Lam CS, Roger VL, Rodeheffer RJ, Borlaug BA, Enders FT, Redfield MM. Pulmonary hypertension in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: a community-based study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2009;53:1119–26.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  25. Ahmed SH, Clark LL, Pennington WR, Webb CS, Bonnema DD, Leonardi AH, et al. Matrix metalloproteinases/tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases: relationship between changes in proteolytic determinants of matrix composition and structural, functional, and clinical manifestations of hypertensive heart disease. Circulation. 2006;113:2089–96.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. Iriarte M, Murga N, Sagastagoitia D, Morillas M, Boveda J, Molinero E, et al. Classification of hypertensive cardiomyopathy. Eur Heart J. 1993;14(Suppl J):95–101.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. Devereux RB, Alderman MH. Role of preclinical cardiovascular disease in the evolution from risk factor exposure to development of morbid events. Circulation. 1993;88:1444–55.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  28. Pahor M, Guralnik JM, Ambrosius WT, Blair S, Bonds DE, Church TS, et al. Effect of structured physical activity on prevention of major mobility disability in older adults: the LIFE study randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2014;311:2387–96.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. Simone G, Izzo R, Chinali M, Marco MD, Casalnuovo G, Rozza F, et al. Does Information on Systolic and Diastolic Function Improve Prediction of a Cardiovascular Event by Left Ventricular Hypertrophy in Arterial Hypertension? Hypertension. 2010;56:99–104.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  30. Krumholz HM, Larson M, Levy D. Prognosis of left ventricular geometric patterns in the Framingham Heart Study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1995;25:879–84.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  31. Tsioufis C, Kokkinos P, Macmanus C, Thomopoulos C, Faselis C, Doumas M, et al. Left ventricular hypertrophy as a determinant of renal outcome in patients with high cardiovascular risk. J Hypertens. 2010;28:2299–308.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  32. Perrone-Filardi P, Coca A, Galderisi M, Paolillo S, Alpendurada F, de Simone G, et al. Noninvasive cardiovascular imaging for evaluating subclinical target organ damage in hypertensive patients: a consensus article from the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging, the European Society of Cardiology Council on Hypertension and the European Society of Hypertension. J Hypertens. 2017;35:1727–41.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  33. Collins S, Martindale J. Optimizing Hypertensive Acute Heart Failure Management with Afterload Reduction. Curr Hypertens Rep. 2018;20:9.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. Kawaguchi M, Hay I, Fetics B, Kass DA. Combined ventricular systolic and arterial stiffening in patients with heart failure and preserved ejection fraction: implications for systolic and diastolic reserve limitations. Circulation. 2003;107:714–20.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  35. Coiro S, Rossignol P, Ambrosio G, Carluccio E, Alunni G, Murrone A, et al. Prognostic value of residual pulmonary congestion at discharge assessed by lung ultrasound imaging in heart failure. Eur J Heart Fail. 2015;17:1172–81.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  36. Lee SE, Lee HY, Cho HJ, Choe WS, Kim H, Choi JO, et al. Clinical Characteristics and Outcome of Acute Heart Failure in Korea: Results from the Korean Acute Heart Failure Registry (KorAHF). Korean Circ J. 2017;47:341–53.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  37. Choi DJ, Han S, Jeon ES, Cho MC, Kim JJ, Yoo BS, et al. Characteristics, outcomes and predictors of long-term mortality for patients hospitalized for acute heart failure: a report from the korean heart failure registry. Korean Circ J. 2011;41:363–71.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  38. Tromp J, Tay WT, Ouwerkerk W, Teng TK, Yap J, MacDonald MR, et al. Multimorbidity in patients with heart failure from 11 Asian regions: A prospective cohort study using the ASIAN-HF registry. PLoS Med. 2018;15:e1002541.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  39. Sato N, Kajimoto K, Asai K, Mizuno M, Minami Y, Nagashima M, et al. Acute decompensated heart failure syndromes (ATTEND) registry. A prospective observational multicenter cohort study: rationale, design, and preliminary data. Am Heart J. 2010;159:949–55 e1.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  40. Adams KF Jr, Fonarow GC, Emerman CL, LeJemtel TH, Costanzo MR, Abraham WT, et al. Characteristics and outcomes of patients hospitalized for heart failure in the United States: rationale, design, and preliminary observations from the first 100,000 cases in the Acute Decompensated Heart Failure National Registry (ADHERE). Am Heart J. 2005;149:209–16.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  41. Fonarow GC, Heywood JT, Heidenreich PA, Lopatin M, Yancy CW, Committee ASA, et al. Temporal trends in clinical characteristics, treatments, and outcomes for heart failure hospitalizations, 2002 to 2004: findings from Acute Decompensated Heart Failure National Registry (ADHERE). Am Heart J. 2007;153:1021–8.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  42. Crespo-Leiro MG, Anker SD, Maggioni AP, Coats AJ, Filippatos G, Ruschitzka F, et al. European Society of Cardiology Heart Failure Long-Term Registry (ESC-HF-LT): 1-year follow-up outcomes and differences across regions. Eur J Heart Fail. 2016;18:613–25.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  43. Klingbeil AU, Schneider M, Martus P, Messerli FH, Schmieder RE. A meta-analysis of the effects of treatment on left ventricular mass in essential hypertension. Am J Med. 2003;115:41–6.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  44. Sweitzer NK, Lopatin M, Yancy CW, Mills RM, Stevenson LW. Comparison of clinical features and outcomes of patients hospitalized with heart failure and normal ejection fraction (> or =55%) versus those with mildly reduced (40% to 55%) and moderately to severely reduced (<40%) fractions. Am J Cardiol. 2008;101:1151–6.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  45. Nieminen MS, Brutsaert D, Dickstein K, Drexler H, Follath F, Harjola VP, et al. EuroHeart Failure Survey II (EHFS II): a survey on hospitalized acute heart failure patients: description of population. Eur Heart J. 2006;27:2725–36.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  46. Gheorghiade M, Abraham WT, Albert NM, Greenberg BH, O'Connor CM, She L, et al. Systolic blood pressure at admission, clinical characteristics, and outcomes in patients hospitalized with acute heart failure. JAMA. 2006;296:2217–26.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  47. Yancy CW, Lopatin M, Stevenson LW, De Marco T, Fonarow GC, Committee ASA, et al. Clinical presentation, management, and in-hospital outcomes of patients admitted with acute decompensated heart failure with preserved systolic function: a report from the Acute Decompensated Heart Failure National Registry (ADHERE) Database. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006;47:76–84.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  48. Yancy CW, Jessup M, Bozkurt B, Butler J, Casey DE Jr, Drazner MH, et al. 2013 ACCF/AHA guideline for the management of heart failure: executive summary: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on practice guidelines. Circulation. 2013;128:1810–52.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  49. Richards AM, Nicholls MG, Troughton RW, Lainchbury JG, Elliott J, Frampton C, et al. Antecedent hypertension and heart failure after myocardial infarction. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2002;39:1182–8.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  50. Yip GW, Fung JW, Tan YT, Sanderson JE. Hypertension and heart failure: a dysfunction of systole, diastole or both? J Hum Hypertens. 2009;23:295–306.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  51. Lewington S, Clarke R, Qizilbash N, Peto R, Collins R, Prospective SC. Age-specific relevance of usual blood pressure to vascular mortality: a meta-analysis of individual data for one million adults in 61 prospective studies. Lancet. 2002;360:1903–13.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  52. Mancia G, Schumacher H, Redon J, Verdecchia P, Schmieder R, Jennings G, et al. Blood pressure targets recommended by guidelines and incidence of cardiovascular and renal events in the Ongoing Telmisartan Alone and in Combination With Ramipril Global Endpoint Trial (ONTARGET). Circulation. 2011;124:1727–36.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  53. Kjeldsen SE, Oparil S, Narkiewicz K, Hedner T. The J-curve phenomenon revisited again: SPRINT outcomes favor target systolic blood pressure below 120 mmHg. Blood Press. 2016;25:1–3.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  54. Group SR, Wright JT Jr, Williamson JD, Whelton PK, Snyder JK, Sink KM, et al. A Randomized Trial of Intensive versus Standard Blood-Pressure Control. N Engl J Med. 2015;373:2103–16.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  55. Mathew J, Sleight P, Lonn E, Johnstone D, Pogue J, Yi Q, et al. Reduction of cardiovascular risk by regression of electrocardiographic markers of left ventricular hypertrophy by the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor ramipril. Circulation. 2001;104:1615–21.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  56. Devereux RB, Wachtell K, Gerdts E, Boman K, Nieminen MS, Papademetriou V, et al. Prognostic significance of left ventricular mass change during treatment of hypertension. JAMA. 2004;292:2350–6.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  57. Kim H, Jun DW, Cho YK, Nam CW, Han SW, Hur SH, et al. The correlation of left atrial volume index to the level of N-terminal pro-BNP in heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction. Echocardiography. 2008;25:961–7.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  58. Gluba A, Bielecka-Dabrowa A, Mikhailidis DP, Wong ND, Franklin SS, Rysz J, et al. An update on biomarkers of heart failure in hypertensive patients. J Hypertens. 2012;30:1681–9.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  59. Thomopoulos C, Parati G, Zanchetti A. Effects of blood pressure-lowering treatment. 6. Prevention of heart failure and new-onset heart failure--meta-analyses of randomized trials. J Hypertens. 2016;34:373–84 discussion 84.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  60. Beckett NS, Peters R, Fletcher AE, Staessen JA, Liu L, Dumitrascu D, et al. Treatment of hypertension in patients 80 years of age or older. N Engl J Med. 2008;358:1887–98.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  61. Lee HY, Shin J, Kim GH, Park S, Ihm SH, Kim HC, et al. 2018 Korean Society of Hypertension Guidelines for the management of hypertension: part II-diagnosis and treatment of hypertension. Clin Hypertens. 2019;25:20.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  62. Abraham WT, Fonarow GC, Albert NM, Stough WG, Gheorghiade M, Greenberg BH, et al. Predictors of in-hospital mortality in patients hospitalized for heart failure: insights from the Organized Program to Initiate Lifesaving Treatment in Hospitalized Patients with Heart Failure (OPTIMIZE-HF). J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008;52:347–56.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  63. Raphael CE, Whinnett ZI, Davies JE, Fontana M, Ferenczi EA, Manisty CH, et al. Quantifying the paradoxical effect of higher systolic blood pressure on mortality in chronic heart failure. Heart. 2009;95:56–62.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  64. Rouleau JL, Roecker EB, Tendera M, Mohacsi P, Krum H, Katus HA, et al. Influence of pretreatment systolic blood pressure on the effect of carvedilol in patients with severe chronic heart failure: the Carvedilol Prospective Randomized Cumulative Survival (COPERNICUS) study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2004;43:1423–9.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  65. Meredith PA, Ostergren J, Anand I, Puu M, Solomon SD, Michelson EL, et al. Clinical outcomes according to baseline blood pressure in patients with a low ejection fraction in the CHARM (Candesartan in Heart Failure: Assessment of Reduction in Mortality and Morbidity) Program. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008;52:2000–7.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  66. Bohm M, Young R, Jhund PS, Solomon SD, Gong J, Lefkowitz MP, et al. Systolic blood pressure, cardiovascular outcomes and efficacy and safety of sacubitril/valsartan (LCZ696) in patients with chronic heart failure and reduced ejection fraction: results from PARADIGM-HF. Eur Heart J. 2017;38:1132–43.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  67. Lip GY, Skjoth F, Overvad K, Rasmussen LH, Larsen TB. Blood pressure and prognosis in patients with incident heart failure: the Diet, Cancer and Health (DCH) cohort study. Clin Res Cardiol. 2015;104:1088–96.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  68. Tsika EP, Poulimenos LE, Boudoulas KD, Manolis AJ. The J-curve in arterial hypertension: fact or fallacy? Cardiology. 2014;129:126–35.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  69. Lip S, Tan LE, Jeemon P, McCallum L, Dominiczak AF, Padmanabhan S. Diastolic Blood Pressure J-Curve Phenomenon in a Tertiary-Care Hypertension Clinic. Hypertension. 2019;74:767–75.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  70. Bangalore S, Messerli FH, Wun CC, Zuckerman AL, DeMicco D, Kostis JB, et al. J-curve revisited: An analysis of blood pressure and cardiovascular events in the Treating to New Targets (TNT) Trial. Eur Heart J. 2010;31:2897–908.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  71. Lee SE, Lee HY, Cho HJ, Choe WS, Kim H, Choi JO, et al. Reverse J-Curve Relationship Between On-Treatment Blood Pressure and Mortality in Patients With Heart Failure. JACC Heart Fail. 2017;5:810–9.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references


Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



GCO is a major contributor to analyzing published data and writing the manuscript. HJC contributed in conceptualization of this review and in writing the manuscript. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hyun-Jai Cho.

Ethics declarations

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Not applicable.

Consent for publication

Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Oh, G.C., Cho, HJ. Blood pressure and heart failure. Clin Hypertens 26, 1 (2020).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: