Preventing Heart Failure by Treating Systolic Hypertension: What Does the SPRINT Add?

  • Bharathi UpadhyaEmail author
  • Richard B. Stacey
  • Dalane W. Kitzman
Hypertension and the Heart (Bharathi Upadhya, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Hypertension and the Heart


Purpose of Review

Previous trials definitively established that lowering systolic blood pressure (BP) to 140 mmHg prevented heart failure (HF) exacerbations, but the potential benefits and risks of further BP reduction remain unclear due to a paucity of trial-based data.

Recent Findings

A recent secondary analysis of the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) found that in older, high-risk, non-diabetic participants with systolic hypertension, a BP treatment target < 120 mmHg resulted in a 36% lower rate of acute decompensated HF as compared with a BP target < 140 mmHg. Those participants with incident HF had a 26-fold increased risk of subsequent cardiovascular events and death. Based in part on the SPRINT results, the 2017 American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology/HF Society Guideline for the Management of HF acknowledged that targeting a significant reduction in BP in those at increased risk for cardiovascular disease is a novel risk-based strategy to prevent HF.


SPRINT redefines systolic BP target goals in older, high-risk patients and provides a key opportunity for preventing HF in this patient group.


Heart failure Systolic hypertension Prevention Systolic blood pressure SPRINT 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Kitzman declares the following relationships: consultant for Abbvie, Bayer, Merck, Medtronic, GSK, Relypsa, Regeneron, Merck, Corvia Medical, DCRI, and Actavis, research grant funding from Novartis, St. Luke’s Medical Center, and stock ownership in Gilead Sciences. Dr. Upadhya has received research funding from Novartis and Corvia.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bharathi Upadhya
    • 1
    Email author
  • Richard B. Stacey
    • 1
  • Dalane W. Kitzman
    • 1
  1. 1.Cardiovascular Medicine Section, Department of Internal MedicineWake Forest School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA

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