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Lower Blood Pressure Can Save Your Life

September 27, 2017

Mindful Health

Landmark NIH study shows that lowering your blood pressure can save your life.

Lower blood pressure target of 120 greatly reduces cardiovascular complications and deaths in older adults.

According to the initial results of a landmark clinical trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health called the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT), lowering your blood pressure greatly reduces your risk of heart attack and death. When blood pressure medication is lowered to systolic pressure of 120, rates of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and heart failure, as well as stroke, are reduced by almost a third and the risk of death by almost a quarter, as compared to the target systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg.

The Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial, known as SPRINT, studied more than 9,300 people older than age 50 who had high blood pressure and at least one other risk factor for heart disease. By using medicines to reduce systolic blood pressure to below 120, instead of below 140:

  • rates of heart attack, heart failure and stroke went down 30 percent; and
  • rates of death from those conditions dropped nearly 25 percent.

The research showed such potential for substantial benefit that the trial was ended early so that researchers could present and publicize their findings.

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