Results from the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) suggest that a blood pressure target of 120 mmHg, lower than current guidelines, may significantly reduce risk for heart failure, heart attacks and death. Experts are available to discuss the results, their limitations, and potential impacts on the general population and on adults age 75 and older, who carry the greatest burden of hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Benefits, risks, and remaining questions about lowering the blood pressure targetAlfred Cheung, M.D., Chief, Division of Nephrology & Hypertension, University of Utah Health Care Dr. Cheung led 17 of the approximately 100 participating clinical sites that took part in SPRINT. He can comment on SPRINT results and how they might change treatment of hypertension. As a practicing nephroligist, he can also explain the treatment’s observed adverse effects on the kidney.

The population that could be affected most: older adults age 75 and aboveMark Supiano, M.D., Chief, Geriatrics University, University of Utah Health Care, and Director, VA Salt Lake City Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical CenterDr. Supiano is a geriatrics expert who treats older adults and researches hypertension. 75 percent of adults over 75 years old have hypertension, meaning results from SPRINT have a great potential to impact the health of this population. Supiano can explain the implications of SPRINT for this age group and describe research that remains to be done.New blood pressure guidelines could affect tens of millions of AmericansAdam Bress, Pharm.D., Research Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacotherapy, University of Utah College of PharmacyUpon hearing preliminary results from SPRINT, Dr. Bress carried out a statistical analysis, published on Nov. 9, demonstrating that more than 16.8 million Americans could be affected if blood pressure guidelines are changed. A segment of the population may be shifted from being considered healthy to being considered as having uncontrolled hypertension, leaving patients and physicians with some tough choices.

For more information:Benefits of Intensive Blood Pressure Management Tempered by Risks, Remaining Questions

How Low to Go For Blood Pressure? Lower Target Could Affect Millions of Americans