OPINION: Has the SPRINT trial introduced a new blood-pressure goal in hypertension?

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Abstract

SPRINT is the first randomized, controlled trial showing that a systolic blood-pressure goal of <120 mmHg can be attained with cardiovascular benefits in a select group of patients with hypertension and an elevated cardiovascular risk with different origins. Although the patient population with characteristics like those in SPRINT makes up only 20–30% of the total hypertensive population, SPRINT is a landmark study that highlights the need to consider lower blood-pressure goals in the treatment of hypertension. Extending this study to include other patient populations and geographical areas is the next step for evaluating the benefits of strict blood-pressure targets and the generalizability of the SPRINT results. Importantly, the blood-pressure measurement method used in SPRINT differs from previous clinical trials, and raises the issue of whether a more accurate method should be used in clinical trials and if such method is feasible in clinical practice. This Perspectives article provides an analysis of the SPRINT data, focusing on patient characteristics, blood-pressure measurement method, and applicability of the SPRINT findings for future management guidelines.

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