Can lowering blood pressure lower risk for dementia?

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SPRINT Bibliography

The Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) is a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial that compares two strategies for treating systolic blood pressure: one focuses on the standard target of <140 mm Hg, and the other included a more intensive target of <120 mm Hg. The primary outcome is the first occurrence of a myocardial infarction (MI), acute coronary syndrome, stroke, heart failure, or cardiovascular disease death. Secondary outcomes include all-cause mortality, decline in kidney function or development of end-stage renal disease, incident dementia, decline in cognitive function, and small-vessel cerebral ischemic disease.
What we learned about heart disease
The SPRINT study found that treatment to the systolic blood pressure goal of <120 mm Hg (compared to the <140 mm Hg goal) reduces the risk of major complications or death due to heart problems, including heart attack and heart failure by 30%. In addition, the study showed an overall lower risk of death in the <120 mm Hg group.
What we learned about mild cognitive impairment and dementia
SPRINT is the first clinical trial (the gold standard of research) to demonstrate that something can be done to prevent mild cognitive impairment (MCI) which is often a precursor of dementia. Participants in the <120 mm Hg group had about a 20% reduction in mild cognitive impairment compared to participants in the <140 mm Hg group.

In SPRINT, treating to a systolic blood pressure goal of < 120 mm Hg compared with a goal of < 140 mm Hg did not result in a significant reduction in the risk of probable dementia. Because dementia takes longer to develop, we are continuing with additional phone follow-up of the SPRINT participants.

Read about other results from SPRINT: