According to a landmark clinical trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) called the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) and released on 9/11/2015, lower blood pressure values than have previously been recommended were associated with a significantly lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and death. Participants in this trial were given blood pressure medications to lower their systolic blood pressure (SBP) values to 120 mm/Hg or lower.

Participants who maintained a SBP at 120 mm/Hg or lower decreased their rates of cardiovascular events, like heart attack, heart failure and stroke, by almost a third. The risk of death was reduced by almost a quarter, as compared to participants who had a target systolic pressure of 140 mm/Hg.

 

Blood Pressure

The SPRINT study, which began in the fall of 2009, included more than 9,300 Americans age 50 and older. It is the largest study of its kind to date to examine how maintaining a systolic blood pressure at a lower than currently recommended level would impact cardiovascular and kidney diseases. The results were so significant that the NIH stopped the blood pressure intervention earlier than originally planned in order to quickly disseminate the preliminary results to the public.

Home health clinicians should modify the education they currently provide to include this new, potentially life-saving information. Check out our Patient Teaching Guide for assistance…

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