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Clinical trial suggests new blood pressure standard

Even before the data is in, NIH suggests a change

5:58pm, September 11, 2015

UNDER PRESSURE  Preliminary results from a new blood pressure study suggest that adults ages 50 and older might benefit from taking drugs to lower blood pressure to 120 millimeters of mercury or less.

It’s time to rethink current blood pressure guidelines.

Using drugs to lower people’s systolic blood pressure, the pressure when the heart contracts, to less than 120 millimeters of mercury could cut heart attack, stroke and death rates. These are the preliminary results suggested by a clinical trial of more than 9,300 people ages 50 and older with high blood pressure.

Scientists at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Md., announced the results from the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial, or SPRINT, on September 11. The study, the largest of its kind, began in 2009 and divided participants into two groups: People in one group received two drugs, on average, to lower blood pressure to 140 millimeters of mercury or below. People in the other group received an average of three drugs to lower

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