UT Health Science Center Begins Hypertension Study

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The Department of Preventive Medicine at the UTHSC has joined a national, multicenter clinical study to determine whether lower blood pressure can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) has joined a national, multicenter clinical study to determine whether lower blood pressure can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The study will also examine the effects of lower blood pressure on cognitive decline and dementia, as well as whether controlling blood pressure can decrease the risk of kidney disease. UTHSC is currently recruiting participants for the trial, which is referred to as SPRINT (Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial). SPRINT is funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that one of every three adults in the United States has high blood pressure, which can increase the risk for heart disease and stroke. Also, high blood pressure can cause kidney damage, which boosts the chances of having a heart attack. High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” because often there are no warning signs or symptoms. Thus, adults should have their blood pressure checked regularly.

To participate in the SPRINT study, the UTHSC Department of Preventive Medicine seeks men and women ages 55 and above who have experienced one or more of the following health conditions: heart disease, mild kidney disease, blocked arteries in the legs, a previous heart attack, or an angioplasty procedure to unblock coronary arteries. Participants will be selected at random to receive FDA-approved blood pressure medicines free of charge. Interested persons should call the Department of Preventive Medicine at 901-448-8400.