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Landmark study finds more intensive treatment to lower blood pressure saves lives

From the Mayo Clinic News Network, Friday, Sept. 11, 2015

Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus was the nation’s second largest recruiting site, and largest in the Southeast, to participate in a landmark study that has found maintaining systolic blood pressure at a target of 120 greatly reduced the risk of cardiovascular complications and death in older adults with high blood pressure.

“It’s been widely assumed that if you’re older, it’s OK to have a higher blood pressure, and this study challenges that notion,” said William E. Haley, M.D., (HYT ’97) principal investigator for Mayo Clinic of the SPRINT study and a nephrologist at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus.

The National Institutes of Health today announced the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) found management of high blood pressure with a target of 120, rather than the commonly recommended 140, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease by nearly one third, and reduced risk of death by nearly 25 percent, in a group of adults 50 years and older with high blood pressure.

“This is truly a landmark trial because it deals with a common and deadly condition, and it includes patients over age 75,and those who have existing cardiovascular and kidney disease,” Dr. Haley said. “These groups have typically been excluded from most trials. This trial is going to inform treatment for those groups, which happen to be the same groups who have the most complications.”

Hypertension is the most common medical condition in United States, affecting one in three Americans, and about 1 billion people worldwide.

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