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CWRU Medical School To Lead Hypertension Study

Friday, October 30, 2009 at 5:49 AM

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Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is getting nearly 15 million dollars from the National Institutes of health to lead an important new study of hypertension. Ideastream's Bill Rice reports.

Current guidelines recommend lowering hypertensive patients’ systolic blood pressure - that’s the first number in a blood pressure reading - to below 140 - 138 over 90, for example.  But physicians want to know if lowering that recommended systolic blood pressure to below 120 can further reduce the incidence of cardiovascular and kidney disease, or slow the decline of functional cognition. 

Dr. Jackson Wright, who heads the Clinical Hypertension Program at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, says the medical school will be one of five U.S. institutions taking a leadership role in what’s called the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial - dubbed SPRINT. 

Several other Health Systems will also participate, including Cleveland Clinic, Metrohealth Medical Center, St. Vincent Charity Hospital, and The Ohio State University Medical Center. 

Wright:  “The fact that Cleveland, Northeast Ohio and Central Ohio has a very diverse population makes this an outstanding location to conduct a study such as SPRINT.”

The study will take place over 9 years, and will involve 75 hundred patients.

Wright says it will measure the benefits of reducing systolic blood pressure against risks posed by increased medication and other factors in treatment of hypertension. 

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