Association of Intensive Blood Pressure Control and Living Arrangement on Cardiovascular Outcomes by Race: Post Hoc Analysis of SPRINT Randomized Clinical Trial

JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Mar 1;5(3):e222037. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.2037.


Importance: Living alone, a key proxy of social isolation, is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In addition, Black race is associated with less optimal blood pressure (BP) control than in other racial or ethnic groups. However, it is not clear whether living arrangement status modifies the beneficial effects of intensive BP control on reduction in cardiovascular events among Black individuals.

Objective: To examine whether the association of intensive BP control with cardiovascular events differs by living arrangement among Black individuals and non-Black individuals (eg, individuals who identified as Alaskan Native, American Indian, Asian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, White, or other) in the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT).

Design, setting, and participants: This secondary analysis incorporated data from SPRINT, a multicenter study of individuals with increased risk for cardiovascular disease and free of diabetes, enrolled at 102 clinical sites in the United States between November 2010 and March 2013. Race and living arrangement (ie, living alone or living with others) were self-reported. Data were collected between November 2010 and March 2013 and analyzed from January 2021 to October 2021.

Exposures: The SPRINT participants were randomized to a systolic BP target of either less than 120 mm Hg (intensive treatment group) or less than 140 mm Hg (standard treatment group). Antihypertensive medications were adjusted to achieve the targets in each group.

Main outcomes and measures: Cox proportional hazards model was used to investigate the association of intensive treatment with the incident composite cardiovascular outcome (by August 20, 2015) according to living arrangement among Black individuals and other individuals. Transportability formula was applied to generalize the SPRINT findings to hypothetical external populations by varying the proportion of Black race and living arrangement status.

Results: Among the 9342 total participants, the mean (SD) age was 67.9 (9.4) years; 2793 participants [30%] were Black, 2714 [29%] lived alone, and 3320 participants (35.5%) were female. Over a median (IQR) follow-up of 3.22 (2.74-3.76) years, the primary composite cardiovascular outcome was observed in 67 of 1001 Black individuals living alone (6.7%), 76 of 1792 Black individuals living with others (4.2%), 108 of 1713 non-Black individuals living alone (6.3%), and 311 of 4836 non-Black individuals living with others (6.4%). The intensive treatment group showed a significantly lower rate of the composite cardiovascular outcome than the standard treatment group among Black individuals living with others (hazard ratio [HR], 0.53 [95% CI, 0.33-0.85]) but not among those living alone (HR, 1.07 [95% CI, 0.66-1.73]; P for interaction = .04). The association was observed among individuals who were not Black regardless of living arrangement status. Using transportability, we found a smaller or null association between intensive control and cardiovascular outcomes among hypothetical populations of 60% Black individuals or more and 60% or more of individuals living alone.

Conclusions and relevance: Intensive BP control was associated with a lower rate of cardiovascular events among Black individuals living with others and individuals who were not Black but not among Black individuals living alone.

Trial registration: Identifier: NCT01206062.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / pharmacology
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Blood Pressure Determination
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / chemically induced
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / diagnosis
  • Male


  • Antihypertensive Agents

Associated data