Indexed on: 16 Aug '16Published on: 16 Aug '16Published in: Internal medicine (Tokyo, Japan)
Objective It is difficult to compare directly the practical effects of lifestyle modifications and antihypertensive medications on reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD). The purpose of this study was to compare the hypothetical potential of lifestyle modifications with that of antihypertensive medications in reducing CVD in an aging society using a success rate-oriented simulation. Methods We constructed a simulation model for virtual Japanese subpopulations according to sex and age at 10-year intervals from 40 years of age as an example of an aging society. The fractional incidence rate of CVD was calculated as the product of the incidence rate at each systolic blood pressure (SBP) level and the proportion of the SBP frequency distribution in the fractional subpopulations of each SBP. The total incidence rate was calculated by the definite integral of the fractional incidence rate at each SBP level in the sex- and age-specific subpopulations. Results If we consider the effects of lifestyle modifications on metabolic factors and transfer them onto SBP, the reductions in the total incidence rate of CVD were competitive between lifestyle modifications and antihypertensive medications in realistic scenarios. In middle-aged women, the preventive effects of both approaches were limited due to a low incidence rate. In middle-aged men and extremely elderly subjects whose adherence to antihypertensive medications is predicted to be low, lifestyle modifications could be an alternative choice. Conclusion The success rate-oriented simulation suggests that the effectiveness of lifestyle modifications or antihypertensive medications in preventing cardiovascular events largely depends on the baseline incidence rate and sex- and age-specific behavioral factors.