Background: Hypertension treatment guidelines recommend that blood pressure (BP) be lowered to <140/90 mm Hg, but that a reduction to <130/80 mm Hg be adopted in patients at high cardiovascular (CV) risk. We investigated the CV and renal benefits associated with these BP targets in the high-CV-risk population of the Ongoing Telmisartan Alone and in Combination With Ramipril Global End Point Trial (ONTARGET).
Methods and results: Patients were divided into 4 groups according to the proportion of in-treatment visits before the occurrence of an event (<25%->75%) in which BP was reduced to <140/90 or <130/80 mm Hg. After adjustment for demographic and clinical variables, a progressive increase in the proportion of visits in which BP was reduced to <140/90 or <130/80 mm Hg was associated with a progressive reduction in the risk of stroke, new onset of microalbuminuria or macroalbuminuria, and return to normoalbuminuria in albuminuric patients. An increased frequency of BP control to either target did not have any consistent effect on the adjusted risk of myocardial infarction and heart failure. The adjusted risk of CV events was reduced by increasing the frequency of BP control to <140/90 mm Hg, but not to <130/80 mm Hg. Similar findings were obtained for the achievement of the BP target in the visit preceding a CV event.
Conclusion: The more frequent achievement of the BP targets recommended by guidelines led to cerebrovascular and renal protection, but did not increase cardiac protection. Overall, CV protection was favorably affected by the less tight but not by the tighter BP target. Clinical Trial Registration-URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00153101.