Blood Pressure: The Lower the Better

The National Institute of Health halted the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (Sprint) because the results were clear.  At a sustained systolic reading (top number) of 120 mmhg or lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure and other cardiovascular events was reduced by almost a third and the risk of death cut by 25% compared to a systolic reading of 140 mmhg.

The study began in late 2009 and had over 9,000 participants aged 50 or older with known hypertension. NIH identified this as landmark findings and emphasized the importance of maintaining a low blood pressure.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and other health problems. An estimated 1 in 3 people in the United States has high blood pressure.