By targeting a blood pressure of 120 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg), lower than current guidelines, the researchers found that adults 50 years and older also significantly reduced their rates of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular events by almost a third.

The risk of death was reduced by almost a quarter, compared to the target systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg, the study noted."This research will have a significant impact on the way physicians treat patients with high blood pressure," said Dominic Raj, professor of medicine at George Washington University in the US.

The results are part of the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT), sponsored by the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

Beginning in 2009, the SPRINT study includes more than 9,300 participants aged 50 years and older, recruited from about 100 medical centers and clinical practices throughout the US and Puerto Rico.

In a statement released by George Washington University on Monday, Raj said that the findings could lead to patients over 50 with high blood pressure receiving potentially lifesaving treatment.


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