A new study from researchers at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has shown that maintaining a lower level of systolic blood pressure could significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
A new study has found that the systolic blood pressure level recommended by many doctors may not be low enough to make a real dent in cardiovascular disease. According to a press release from the National Institute of Health, researchers have shown that better management of blood pressure could significantly lower the risk of heart disease and death in adults over 50.
The groundbreaking clinical trial was named the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT), and demonstrated how maintaining a low systolic blood pressure reduced rates of heart attack, cardiovascular disease and stroke by almost 33 percent, and the risk of death by roughly 25 percent. Maintaining blood pressure at a level of 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) reduced cardiovascular risk significantly more than the current target of 140 mm Hg.
According to Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., and head of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), “This study provides potentially lifesaving information that will be useful to health care providers as they consider the best treatment options for some of their patients, particularly over the age of 50.”
Roughly one third of all people in the U.S. are suffering from high blood pressure. In addition to cardiovascular disease, it can cause stress, kidney failure, and a laundry list of other complications.
The study followed over 9,300 participants starting in 2009 and tracked their cardiovascular health over time compared to their blood pressure. The research revealed that there were significant benefits to regulating systolic blood pressure at a constant level of 120 mm Hg.