The recently published SPRINT trial on the treatment of patients with hypertension or high blood pressure (BP) received widespread media coverage. It made the BBC news programmes and, of course, the Daily Mail.
This study took patients over the age of 50 with one other risk factor for cardiac disease and split them into two groups. The first group received ‘standard’ treatment aiming for systolic BP below 140mmHg and the other received ‘intensive therapy’ aiming for a systolic BP below 120mmHg.
The headline results were that those who received intensive BP lowering had fewer event rates in terms of death, stroke and heart attacks. In order to achieve this benefit though, patients had to take three BP drugs instead of two and had more side effects from the medications.
Whilst attention to BP levels is undoubtedly important and in general the lower the better, the relative risks and benefits of the available treatments is very individual. At The Physicians Clinic we have all the expertise and access to diagnostics to help tailor your individual hypertension management.