14 October, 2015    #59

How Low Should You Go?

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Loyola University Chicago is among the centers participating in a landmark clinical trial that has found that more intensive management of high blood pressure (HBP) reduces heart disease rates and saves lives.


The trial included adults 50 years and older with HBP. It found that adjusting BP medications (*) to achieve a target top number of 120 mmHg reduced rates of cardiovascular events by almost a third, and the risk of death by almost a quarter, compared with targeting a top number of 140 mmHg.


Loyola University Medical Center enrolled 89 patients in the National Institutes of Health study, called the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT).


"This is the first clinical trial to confirm that a more intensive BP regimen improves cardiovascular outcomes," said Holly Kramer, MD, principal investigator at the Loyola site.


Gary H. Gibbons, MD, director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the primary sponsor of SPRINT, said: "The study provides potentially lifesaving information that will be useful to health care providers as they consider the best treatment options for some of their patients, particularly those over age 50.


HBP, or hypertension, is a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and other health problems. An estimated 1 in 3 people in the United States have high blood pressure.


The SPRINT study evaluates the benefits of maintaining a new target for Systolic BP, the top number in a BP reading, among a group of patients 50 years and older at increased risk for heart disease or who have kidney disease. A Systolic BP of 120 mmHg, maintained by this more intensive BP intervention, could ultimately help save lives among adults age 50 and older who have a combination of HBP and at least one additional risk factor for heart disease, the investigators say.


When SPRINT was designed, the clinical guidelines recommended a Systolic BP of less than 140 mmHg for healthy adults and 130 mmHg for adults with kidney disease or diabetes. Investigators designed SPRINT to determine the potential benefits of achieving Systolic BP of less than 120 mmHg.


* Lifestyle changes will also help lower Systolic BP




Mike Kohut, President, DDMS




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