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BACKGROUND: The Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) and the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation 3 (HOPE-3) trial demonstrated the merits of blood pressure (BP) lowering to reduce cardiovascular events in intermediate to high cardiovascular risk adults. However, the population impact of an absolute risk-based strategy for BP lowering remains unclear. METHODS: We examined 3 treatment thresholds using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. First, the JNC8 guideline was used to determine treatment goals. Second, adults with a systolic BP (SBP) of 130 mm Hg and high cardiovascular risk (based on eligibility for SPRINT) were considered eligible for additional BP lowering. Finally, we combined the treatment threshold for high-risk adults with an SBP treatment threshold of 140 mm Hg for intermediate-risk adults that met the eligibility criteria for HOPE-3. RESULTS: Under the JNC8 guideline, 78.0% of adults ≥50 years were at target while 22.0% were eligible for additional BP lowering. If an SBP treatment threshold of 130 mm Hg was used for adults at high cardiovascular risk, 31.1% would be eligible for additional BP lowering (an increase of 8.1 million). If an SBP threshold of 140 mm Hg was additionally used for adults at intermediate risk, 31.4% of adults would be eligible for BP lowering (an increase of 8.3 million). The proportion of adults eligible for BP lowering with established coronary artery disease decreased with the risk-based strategies. CONCLUSION: An absolute risk treatment strategy would modestly increase the proportion of adults eligible for BP lowering.

Original publication




Journal article


Am j hypertens

Publication Date





232 - 235


absolute risk, blood pressure, epidemiology, hypertension., Adult, Antihypertensive Agents, Blood Pressure, Cardiovascular Diseases, Female, Health Surveys, Humans, Hypertension, Male, Middle Aged, Risk Assessment, United States