NIH puts blood pressure study results on fast track
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.