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Brief Report
February 26, 2020

Assessment of Long-term Benefit of Intensive Blood Pressure Control on Residual Life Span: Secondary Analysis of the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT)

Author Affiliations
  • 1Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Section for Research, Division of General Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Cardiol. 2020;5(5):576-581. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2019.6192
Key Points

Question  What are the expected associations of intensive vs standard blood pressure control with residual life span in middle-aged and older adults who are at high cardiovascular risk but without diabetes mellitus?

Findings  In this second analysis of the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) randomized clinical trial, applying age-based methods and assuming consistent treatment responses over time, it was estimated that intensive blood pressure control improves projected survival by 6 months to 3 years, depending on the age at which this treatment strategy is started.

Meaning  These actuarial analyses from the SPRINT trial support the survival benefits of intensive blood pressure control, especially among middle-aged adults at risk.

Abstract

Importance  High blood pressure (BP) is a leading contributor to premature mortality worldwide. The Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) demonstrated a 27% reduction in all-cause death with intensive (vs standard) BP control. However, traditional reporting of survival benefits is not readily interpretable outside medical communities.

Objective  To estimate residual life span and potential survival gains with intensive compared with standard BP control in the SPRINT trial using validated nonparametric age-based methods.

Design, Setting, and Participants  This secondary analysis of data from an open-label randomized clinical trial included data from 102 enrolling clinical sites in the United States. Adults who were 50 years or older, were at high cardiovascular risk but without diabetes, and had a screening systolic BP between 130 and 180 mm Hg were enrolled between November 2010 and March 2013. Data analysis occurred from May 2019 to December 2019.

Interventions  A 1:1 randomization to intensive (target, <120 mm Hg) or standard (target, <140 mm Hg) systolic BP targets.

Main Outcomes and Measures  We calculated age-based estimates of projected survival (at a given age) using baseline age rather than time from randomization as the time axis. In each treatment arm at every year of age, residual life span was estimated using the area under the survival curve, up to a maximum of 95 years. Differences in areas under the survival curves reflect the estimated treatment benefits on projected survival.

Results  A total of 9361 adults were enrolled (mean [SD] age at randomization, 68 [9] years; 6029 [64.4%] were men; 5399 [57.7%] were non-Hispanic white individuals). Mean survival benefits with intensive vs standard BP control ranged from 6 months to up to 3 years. At age 50 years, the estimated residual survival was 37.3 years with intensive treatment and 34.4 years with standard treatment (difference, 2.9 years [95% CI, 0.9-5.0 years]; P = .008). At age 65 years, residual survival was 24.5 years with intensive treatment and 23.3 years with standard treatment (difference, 1.1 years [95% CI, 0.1-2.1 years]; P = .03). Absolute survival gains with intensive vs standard BP control decreased with age, but the relative benefits were consistent (4% to 9%).

Conclusions and Relevance  Intensive BP control improves projected survival by 6 months to 3 years among middle-aged and older adults at high cardiovascular risk but without diabetes mellitus. These post hoc actuarial analyses from SPRINT support the survival benefits of intensive BP control, especially among middle-aged adults at risk.

Trial Registration  ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01206062

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