False start for the SPRINT results?

By September 18, 2015Pharma Beat

Last week, the NIH announced the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) was being stopped early after significant reductions in cardiovascular events and deaths occurred in the group randomized to an intensive treatment and more aggressive target of 120 mmHg compared to the group with the standard target of 140 mmHg in hypertensive patients over 50 years old.

The preliminary results from the landmark trial with more than 9,300 participants are being heralded as life saving and practice-changing in some arenas but many are criticizing the NIH for only releasing partial results. It was reported that cardiovascular events were reduced by 30% and mortality by 25%; however, there was no actual numbers provided or mention of absolute risk reduction, which is critical to assess the clinical significance of these findings.

High blood pressure is a leading cause of death and disability in North America, and results from the SPRINT trial could be game-changing, but we will need to assess all study details in the published study in 2016.