Landmark NIH Blood Pressure Study Confirms Lower Blood Pressure Target Can Reduce Heart Disease

November 13, 2015

NIH-supported researchers are reporting more details on a landmark study that announced preliminary findings in September showing a lower blood pressure target can save lives and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in a group of non-diabetic adults 50 years and older with high blood pressure. Results of the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) appear in the current online issue of the New England Journal of Medicine and were discussed today at the American Heart Association 2015 Scientific Sessions in Orlando.

The study confirms that, in adults 50 years and older with high blood pressure, targeting a systolic blood pressure of less than 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) reduced rates of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and heart failure, as well as stroke, by 25 percent. Additionally, this target reduced the risk of death by 27 percent—as compared to a target systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is the national Coordinating Center for the SPRINT clinical trial.

David Reboussin, Ph.D., professor of public health sciences, is principal investigator for the Coordinating Center;  Kaycee Sink, M.D., acting section chief of gerontology and geriatric medicine, is the Safety Officer for the trial; Michael Rocco, M.D., professor of nephrology, is the principal investigator for the Wake Forest Baptist network (Southeast Network); and Jeff Williamson, M.D., acting chair of internal medicine, is leading aspects of SPRINT focused on people over age 75, as well as the ongoing SPRINT investigation of the effects on cognition and development of dementia.

Read the entire news release from NIH.

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Marguerite Beck:, 336-716-2415