Targeting the Efficacy of Intensive Blood Pressure Treatment in Hypertensive Patients - An Exploratory Analysis of SPRINT

Circ J. 2023 Aug 25;87(9):1212-1218. doi: 10.1253/circj.CJ-23-0037. Epub 2023 Apr 26.


Background: Hypertensive patients show highly heterogeneous treatment effects (HTEs) and cardiovascular prognosis, and not all benefit from intensive blood pressure treatment.Methods and Results: We used the causal forest model to identify potential HTEs of patients in the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT). Cox regression was performed to assess hazard ratios (HRs) for cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes and to compare the effects of intensive treatment among groups. The model revealed 3 representative covariates and patients were partitioned into 4 subgroups: Group 1 (baseline body mass index [BMI] ≤28.32 kg/m2and estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] ≤69.53 mL/min/1.73 m2); Group 2 (baseline BMI ≤28.32 kg/m2and eGFR >69.53 mL/min/1.73 m2); Group 3 (baseline BMI >28.32 kg/m2and 10-year CVD risk ≤15.8%); Group 4 (baseline BMI >28.32 kg/m2and 10-year CVD risk >15.8%). Intensive treatment was shown to be beneficial only in Group 2 (HR 0.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.35-0.82; P=0.004) and Group 4 (HR 0.69, 95% CI 0.52-0.91; P=0.009).

Conclusions: Intensive treatment was effective for patients with high BMI and 10-year CVD risk, or low BMI and normal eGFR, but not for those with low BMI and eGFR, or high BMI and low 10-year CVD risk. Our study could facilitate the categorization of hypertensive patients, ensuring individualized therapy.

Keywords: Blood pressure; Causal forest; Hypertension; Intensive treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / drug therapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antihypertensive Agents