September 15, 2017 – SPRINT


Anchor lead: What is the best blood pressure? Elizabeth Tracey reports

What’s the best blood pressure to target in someone who has high blood pressure? That question has been avidly investigated for some time, and now a trial known by the acronym SPRINT may have provided an answer. Gregory Prokopowicz, a blood pressure expert at Johns Hopkins, explains.

Prokopowicz: The SPRINT trial looked a broad cross section of people, people with pre-existing hypertension, or high cardiovascular risk from across the country and Puerto Rico, and basically divided them into two groups, target of systolic blood pressure of 120 or a systolic blood pressure of 140. And the results were fairly dramatic and unexpected. The group randomized to a target systolic of 120 did significantly better than a target of 140, and this flew in the face of the existing trend in the field of blood pressure toward somewhat less aggressive goals. :31

Prokopowicz says there are some people in whom trying to lower blood pressure to 120 may come with too many side effects, so talk with your doctor. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.