(HealthDay News) — For patients at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, intensive blood pressure control may be just as safe as standard treatment, and is likely cost-effective, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dan Berlowitz, MD, MPH, chief of staff at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, Mass, and colleagues used information collected from 9361 patients during the SPRINT trial. At the start of the study and then yearly, patients completed standard surveys on day-to-day well-being. They rated their physical and mental health, satisfaction with their care, and ability to adhere to their medication.

On average, the researchers found, patients on intensive treatment fared as well as those on standard care. That was true even among elderly, frail patients.

Continue Reading

A second study in the same journal issue looked at cost. Researchers used a mathematical model to estimate the costs of additional blood pressure medication, extra doctor visits, and treatment for any adverse effects of intensive blood pressure control. They weighed that against the potential savings from prevention of cardiovascular disease events. The investigators found that intensive treatment cost well below $50,000 for every quality-adjusted life-year gained.

Related Articles


  1. Berlowitz DR, Foy CG, Kazis LE, et al. Effect of Intensive Blood-Pressure Treatment on Patient-Reported Outcomes. N Engl J Med. 2017 Aug 24;377. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1611179
  2. Bress AP, Bellows BK, King JB, et al. Cost-Effectiveness of Intensive versus Standard Blood-Pressure Control. N Engl J Med. 2017 Aug 24;377. doi: 10.1056/NEJMsa1616035