More Versus Less Blood Pressure Lowering: An Update

Emily R Atkins, Anthony Rodgers
Clinical Therapeutics 2016, 38 (10): 2135-2141

PURPOSE: This article summarizes the results of a recent systematic review and meta-analysis of the safety and efficacy of intensive blood pressure (BP) lowering, including an update with the SPRINT (Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial) results. We discuss the consistency of results within this set of trials (eg, ACCORD [Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes] and SPRINT) and the results in the context of other BP-lowering trials, including the recently published HOPE3 (Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation-3) study.

METHODS: This study was a narrative review with updated meta-analysis from systematic review of trials comparing more- versus less-intensive BP lowering.

FINDINGS: With the addition of SPRINT, there are >20 trials comparing more- versus less-intensive treatment with 54,350 participants overall. Over an average of 3.9 years of follow-up, the average systolic BP was 133 mm Hg in the more-intensive treatment arms and 140 mm Hg in the less-intensive treatment arms. More-intensive BP lowering reduced the risk of major vascular events, with benefits seen across a range of groups defined according to baseline systolic BP (120-139 mm Hg, 140-159 mm Hg, or ≥160 mm Hg), age (<70 or >70 years), and main entry criterion (hypertension, diabetes, or renal disease).

IMPLICATIONS: The evidence accumulated thus far provides clear evidence of the benefits of BP lowering in the 120- to 140-mm Hg range for various high-risk patient groups. Although intensive BP lowering has side effects, these trials indicate that the benefits will predominate for those at high risk of major vascular events.

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