Should blood pressure goal be individualized in hypertensive patients?

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The aim of the present review is to consider the clinical relevance of individualized blood pressure (BP) goal under treatment in hypertensive patients according to their age, comorbidities or established cardiovascular (CV) disease. Evidence from large-scale randomized trials to support a lower BP goal, as initially recommended by guidelines in high-risk hypertensive patients, were lacking. Recently, the randomized intervention SPRINT trial studied two treatment targets for systolic BP (120 mm Hg versus 140 mm Hg in the intensive and standard treatment group, respectively) among high-risk hypertensive patients, without diabetes and without a history of prior stroke. The trial was stopped prematurely owing to a significantly lower rate of the primary composite outcome and all-cause mortality in the intensive treatment group. Several practical questions have to be considered. First, using an automated measurement system at an office visit during the SPRINT protocol, while the patient was seated alone after 5 min of quiet rest, may likely have resulted in lower BP values than would normally be obtained with the routine BP measurement. A target systolic of 120 mm Hg in SRPINT trial may be thus equated to a target systolic BP of 130 mm Hg in the real-world office setting. Second, careful and repeated examinations of SPRINT participants may have led to fewer adverse events (more frequent in the intensive treatment group) than that expected in the real-world setting. The safety profile of this intensive treatment approach should therefore remain a matter of concern in clinical practice, especially in elderly patients, in diabetic patients or with established CV or renal disease. Orthostatic hypotension should alert the clinician to withhold up titration. Third, beyond the question of BP goal, choice of antihypertensive medication and effective 24-h BP control are important to consider in the context of BP-lowering strategy. In particular, ambulatory BP measurements and during nighttime should be considered for an individualized hypertension care.

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