NIH-supported researchers are reporting more details on a landmark study that announced preliminary findings (see link below) in September, showing a lower-than-current-standard blood pressure target can save lives and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in a group of non-diabetic adults 50 years and older with high blood pressure. Results of the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) appear in an open-access article published on November 9, 2015 in the New England Journal of Medicine and were discussed on at the American Heart Association 2015 Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida (November 7-11). The NEJM article is titled “A Randomized Trial of Intensive versus Standard Blood-Pressure Control.” Note that the NEJM article includes a video describing the new results—see link below. The study confirms that, in adults 50 years and older with high blood pressure, targeting a systolic blood pressure of less than 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) reduced rates of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and heart failure, as well as stroke, by 25 percent. Additionally, this target reduced the risk of death by 27 percent—as compared to a target systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg. The NEJM article is accompanied by an editorial titled “Redefining Blood-Pressure Targets — SPRINT Starts the Marathon” (see link below). “SPRINT is part of a proud legacy of NIH-funded clinical trials that will change clinical practice and save lives for decades to come. These results reinforce the compelling public health importance of enhancing the awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in this country and around the world,” said Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the primary sponsor of SPRINT.
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