NIH puts blood pres­sure study re­sults on fast track

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS - — An­dis Robeznieks

The Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health last week re­ported that ini­tial re­sults from a new study in­di­cate that low­er­ing blood pres­sure rates to a sys­tolic rate of 120 re­duces rates of heart at­tack, heart fail­ure and stroke by nearly a third, and drops mor­tal­ity rates by al­most 25%, com­pared with a sys­tolic rate of 140.

Those re­sults are part of a 9,300-par­tic­i­pant study known as the Sys­tolic Blood Pres­sure In­ter­ven­tion Trial, known as SPRINT.

The NIH said the re­sults were be­ing dis­sem­i­nated months ear­lier than planned be­cause of their po­ten­tial im­pact.

The Amer­i­can Col­lege of Car­di­ol­ogy cheered the study, not­ing that 70 mil­lion Amer­i­can adults have high blood pres­sure, but only half of them have it un­der con­trol.

A sys­tolic rate of 120 or lower is con­sid­ered nor­mal, while 140 is con­sid­ered the be­gin­ning of stage 1 hy­per­ten­sion, ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion.

Other health con­di­tions un­der ex­am­i­na­tion by the SPRINT group in­clude kid­ney dis­ease, cog­ni­tive func­tion and de­men­tia.

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