Major study supports tighter blood pressure targets

AGGRESSIVELY tightening systolic blood pressure targets to 120mmHg in high-risk patients slashes their risk of cardiovascular events and early death, fast-tracked results from a large US study show.

The aptly named SPRINT trial was stopped more than a year ahead of schedule, so struck were the National Institutes of Health researchers by the magnitude of their preliminary results.

Beginning in 2010, the researchers randomised 9300 patients, aged 50 or above with high blood pressure and one additional risk factor for heart disease, into two groups.

The control group had their medications