Blood Pressure Goals in Patients with CKD: A Review of Evidence and Guidelines

Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2019 Jan 7;14(1):161-169. doi: 10.2215/CJN.07440618. Epub 2018 Nov 19.


Hypertension affects the vast majority of patients with CKD and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, ESKD, and death. Over the past decade, a number of hypertension guidelines have been published with varying recommendations for BP goals in patients with CKD. Most recently, the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association 2017 hypertension guidelines set a BP goal of <130/80 mm Hg for patients with CKD and others at elevated cardiovascular risk. These guidelines were heavily influenced by the landmark Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT), which documented that an intensive BP goal to a systolic BP <120 mm Hg decreased the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality in nondiabetic adults at high cardiovascular risk, many of whom had CKD; the intensive BP goal did not retard CKD progression. It is noteworthy that SPRINT measured BP with automated devices (5-minute wait period, average of three readings) often without observers, a technique that potentially results in BP values that are lower than what is typically measured in the office. Still, results from SPRINT along with long-term follow-up data from the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease and the African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension suggest that a BP goal <130/80 mm Hg will reduce mortality in patients with CKD. Unfortunately, data are more limited in patients with diabetes or stage 4-5 CKD. Increased adverse events, including electrolyte abnormalities and decreased eGFR, necessitate careful laboratory monitoring. In conclusion, a BP goal of <130/80 is a reasonable, evidence-based BP goal in patients with CKD. Implementation of this intensive BP target will require increased attention to measuring BP accurately, assessing patient preferences and concurrent medical conditions, and monitoring for adverse effects of therapy.

Keywords: blood pressure; cardiovascular disease; chronic kidney disease; clinical; clinical hypertension; hypertension; nephrology; systolic blood pressure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure Determination*
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications*
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / complications*