American Journal of Medicine, internal medicine, medicine, health, healthy lifestyles, cancer, heart disease, drugs

Optimal Systolic Blood Pressure Target in Resistant and Non-Resistant Hypertension

Prior studies suggest benefits of blood pressure lowering on cardiovascular risk may be attenuated in patients with resistant hypertension compared with the general hypertensive population, but prospective data are lacking.


We assessed intensive (<120 mm Hg) versus standard (<140 mm Hg) systolic blood pressure targets on adverse outcome risk according to baseline resistant hypertension status, using Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) and Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) patient-level data. Patients were categorized as having baseline apparent resistant hypertension (blood pressure ≥130/80 mm Hg while using 3 antihypertensive drugs or use of ≥4 drugs regardless of blood pressure) or non-resistant hypertension (all others). Cox regression was used to assess effects of treatment assignment, resistant hypertension status, their interaction, and other covariates, on first occurrence of 2 outcomes: myocardial infarction, stroke, cardiovascular death ± heart failure, and the same outcomes plus all-cause death, individually.


Among 14,094 patients, 2710 (19.2%) had baseline apparent resistant hypertension. In adjusted models, an intensive target reduced risk of both outcomes (myocardial infarction/stroke/cardiovascular death: hazard ratio [HR], 0.81; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.71-0.93; myocardial infarction/stroke/heart failure/cardiovascular death: HR 0.78; 95% CI, 0.69-0.88) as well as stroke (HR 0.72; 95% CI, 0.55-0.94) and heart failure (HR 0.73; 95% CI, 0.59-0.91). An intensive target also appeared to reduce myocardial infarction, cardiovascular death, and all-cause death risk. Benefits were observed irrespective of baseline resistant hypertension status.


Our findings provide the first evidence to support guidance to treat resistant hypertension to the same blood pressure goal as non-resistant hypertension.

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-Steven M. Smith, PharmD, MPH, Matthew J. Gurka, PhD, David A. Calhoun, MD, Yan Gong, PhD, Carl J. Pepine, MD, Rhonda M. Cooper-DeHoff, PharmD, MS

This article originally appeared in the December issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

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