ore than 100,000 deaths could be
prevented annually if adults with specific
common risk factors for heart disease
would engage in an intensive program
to lower systolic blood pressure, the top
number in a blood pressure reading, according to a study
presented at the American Heart Association’s Council on
Hypertension 2016 Scientific Sessions.
Researchers used the findings from the Systolic
Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT), which was
released in 2015. SPRINT found that participants using
an intensive program to lower systolic blood pressure to
less than 120 mm Hg reduced the risk of death from all
causes by 27 percent.
“Standard medical practice generally aims to
reduce adults’ systolic blood pressure to less than 140
millimeters of mercury (mm Hg),” said Holly Kramer, M.D.,
M.P.H., study author and associate professor of public
health sciences and medicine at Loyola Medical Center in
Maywood, Illinois. “Our study sought to find out what the
reduction in risk of death would be if all U.S. adults who
The SPRINT trial included adults age 50 years and older
with systolic blood pressure of 130 — 180 mm Hg, all with
high heart disease risk, including previous heart disease
or high Framingham risk score for future heart disease but
none had diabetes, stroke or severe heart failure.
Using health data from the National Health & Nutrition
Examination Survey, Kramer and colleagues determined
that more than 18 million U.S. adults met SPRINT criteria
at the time of their study.
They found the annual death rate in the 18 million
people studied was 2.2 percent and projected that
intensive systolic blood pressure lowering as studied in
SPRINT could prevent approximately 107,000 deaths
each year. Among the 8. 9 million U.S. adults meeting
SPRINT criteria and having a systolic blood pressure
greater than or equal to 145 mm Hg, the annual death
rate was 2.5 percent; the intensive initiative was projected
to prevent approximately 61,000 deaths a year.
“The SPRINT clinical trial clearly showed that intensive
systolic blood pressure lowering lowers risk of death from
all causes and will save lives among adults aged 50 years
and older,” Kramer said.
Source: American Heart Association News
LOWERING BLOOD PRESSURE’S
TOP NUMBER COULD PREVENT
100,000-PLUS DEATHS A YEAR