A recent national blood pressure treatment trial call SPRINT has revealed some very promising results according to Dr. Steven Reisman a cardiologist in New York City. High blood pressure or hypertension is found in one of three American adults or approximately 79 million adults and is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and other medical problems. One aim of therapy is to bring down the systolic blood pressure but there has been some controversy regarding what is the “ideal “number.
The Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT)sponsored by the National Institutes of Health randomized participants according to their age and those who had a diagnosis of high blood pressure and were either at increased risk for heart disease or had kidney disease. One half of the participants were given a systolic blood pressure target of 120 mm Hg and the other half were given a target of 140. The study results showed aiming for a target of 120 mm Hg was superior to 140 and reduced the risk of death by almost 25% and also reduced the rate of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, stroke, and heart failure by one third. Approximately two years ago the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute had announced a higher treatment target level of between 140 to 150 mm Hg systolic blood pressure. For the SPRINT trial the results targeting a lower systolic blood pressure of 120 were so dramatic and powerful that these new recommendations were announced prior to the ending of the study.
With more focus on these specific treatment goals for blood pressure it is critical that physicians treating patients with hypertension have an accurate way of monitoring the patient’s systolic blood pressure. One method is to have patients measure and track their blood pressure outside of the office. According to Dr. Steven Reisman, Director of the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center another method is to track blood pressure using the BpTrRU device in the doctor’s office. This device eliminates the white coat effect and takes an average of five automated blood pressures in the office. Dr. Reisman, a Manhattan cardiologist, has been using the device for several years and it is an effective way of evaluating and treating patients with hypertension.