Initial results of SPRINT (Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial), a landmark clinical trial sponsored by the NIH, have shown that more aggressive management of hypertension significantly reduces the rate of cardiovascular disease and lowers the risk of mortality in a group of adults 50 years of age and older with hypertension. The trial, which began in 2009, consisted of more than 9300 participants 50 years of age and older. Participants were divided into two groups. The standard group, with a target systolic blood pressure of less than 140 mmHg, received an average of two different antihypertensive medications. The intensive treatment group received an average of three antihypertensive medications for a target systolic blood pressure of less than 120 mmHg.
Compared with the standard group, the intensive treatment group experienced an almost one-third reduction in rates of cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction and heart failure as well as stroke. Risk of mortality was reduced by almost one fourth.