Purpose: Cardiovascular health among middle-aged and older people has improved in high-income countries. It is unknown whether this also applies for the oldest-old and if so, is it driven by better treatment or by a health improvement? Therefore, we compared two Danish centenarian birth cohorts born in 1895 and 1915, respectively, to investigate if the cardiovascular profile had improved in the most recent born cohort. Methods: All individuals turning 100 years old in 1995 and 2015, respectively, were included with participation rates of 74% (n = 106) and 79% (n = 238), respectively. Data were collected through structured in-home interviews. Cardiovascular profile was obtained by measured blood pressure, electrocardiogram (ECG), and information on medication. Hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥ 140 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) ≥ 90 mmHg. Results: Mean SBP and DBP were almost identical in the two cohorts. Yet, the prevalence of measured hypertension was non-significantly higher in the 1895 cohort [73%, 95% CI (61;82)] compared to the 1915 cohort [63%, 95% CI (55;70)]. The proportion receiving at least one type of cardiovascular drug was significantly higher in the 1915 cohort [80%, 95% CI (74;86)] compared to 1895 cohort [66%, 95% CI 55;76)]. ECG findings were similar in the two cohorts, e.g., atrial fibrillation was present in 17% of the 1895 cohort and 20% of the 1915 cohort. Conclusion: This comparison study found a non-significant improvement in measured hypertension irrespective of medical treatment in the recent born cohort. Also, the recent born cohort was treated more intensively with cardiovascular drugs than earlier. However, the prevalence of pathological ECG-findings was unchanged.
Bibliografisk noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation; the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark; The Health Foundation (Helsefonden) (Grant no. 16-B-0271); the Danish Interdisciplinary Research Council. The Danish Aging Research Center is supported by a grant from the Velux Foundation.