Which Target Blood Pressure in Year 2018? Evidence from Recent Clinical Trials

  • Sondre Heimark
  • Julian E. Mariampillai
  • Krzysztof Narkiewicz
  • Peter M. Nilsson
  • Sverre E. Kjeldsen
Review Article


The Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) suggested a favourable effect of lowering blood pressure to < 120/80 mmHg in high-risk hypertensive patients; however, new American guidelines in 2017 have not followed SPRINT but lowered its recommended treatment target to < 130/80 mmHg. We aimed to review the latest research from large randomised controlled trials and observational analyses in order to investigate the evidence for new treatment targets. We assessed recent data from the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes Blood Pressure (ACCORD) study, the International Verapamil-Trandolapril Study (INVEST), the Telmisartan, Ramipril or Both in Patients at High Risk for Vascular Events trial (ONTARGET)/the Telmisartan Randomised AssessmenNt Study in aCE iNtolerant participants with cardiovascular Disease (TRANSCEND) study and The Losartan Intervention For Endpoint Reduction in Hypertension (LIFE) study. These studies confirm a positive effect on cardiovascular protection with blood pressure lowering treatment to between 120–140 mmHg in patients with and without diabetes, but no additional effect of lowering blood pressure to < 120 mmHg; possibly too aggressive treatment may increase both cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Thus, a target blood pressure < 130/80 mmHg appears appropriate in most high-risk hypertensive patients. Additionally, early and sustained BP control below this target is required for optimal cardiovascular protection.


Antihypertensive drug-treatment Antihypertensive therapy Blood pressure measurement Blood pressure target Cardiovascular disease Hypertension Randomized controlled trial 


Compliance with Ethical Standards


No funding has been received in support of writing this article.

Conflict of interest

The two first authors have no conflict of interest to disclose. Peter M Nilsson has received speaking honoraria from Novo Nordisk, Merck, AstraZeneca and Boehringer-Ingelheim over past 3 years. Krzysztof Narkiewicz has received speaking honoraria from Berlin-Chemie/Menarini, Egis, Gedeon Richter, Krka and Servier. Sverre E. Kjeldsen has within the past 3 years received speaking honoraria from Bayer, MSD, Sanofi and Takeda.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain data derived by any current studies with human participants performed by any of the authors. The clinical studies mentioned were provided with specific ethical approval.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sondre Heimark
    • 1
  • Julian E. Mariampillai
    • 2
  • Krzysztof Narkiewicz
    • 3
  • Peter M. Nilsson
    • 4
  • Sverre E. Kjeldsen
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of MedicineDiakonhjemmet HospitalOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of Emergency MedicineUllevaal University HospitalOsloNorway
  3. 3.Department of Hypertension and DiabetologyMedical University of GdanskGdańskPoland
  4. 4.Department of Clinical SciencesSkåne University HospitalMalmöSweden
  5. 5.Department of CardiologyUllevaal University HospitalOsloNorway
  6. 6.Institute of Clinical Medicine, Medical FacultyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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