Effect of Intensive Versus Standard Blood Pressure Control on Stroke Subtypes

Clinton B. Wright, Alexander P. Auchus, Alan Lerner, Walter T. Ambrosius, Hakan Ay, Jeffrey T. Bates, Jing Chen, James F. Meschia, Suchita Pancholi, Vasilios Papademetriou, Anjay Rastogi, Mary Sweeney, James J. Willard, Jerry Yee, Suzanne Oparil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the SPRINT (Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial), the number of strokes did not differ significantly by treatment group. However, stroke subtypes have heterogeneous causes that could respond differently to intensive blood pressure control. SPRINT participants (N=9361) were randomized to target systolic blood pressures of <120 mm Hg (intensive treatment) compared with <140 mm Hg (standard treatment). We compared incident hemorrhage, cardiac embolism, large- and small-vessel infarctions across treatment arms. Participants randomized to the intensive arm had mean systolic blood pressures of 121.4 mm Hg in the intensive arm (N=4678) and 136.2 mm Hg in the standard arm (N=4683) at one year. Sixty-nine strokes occurred in the intensive arm and 78 in the standard arm when SPRINT was stopped. The breakdown of stroke subtypes across treatment arms included hemorrhagic (intensive treatment, n=6, standard treatment, n=7) and ischemic stroke subtypes (large artery atherosclerosis: intensive treatment n=11, standard treatment, n=13; cardiac embolism: intensive treatment n=11, standard treatment n=15; small artery occlusion: intensive treatment n=8, standard treatment n=8; other ischemic stroke: intensive treatment n=3, standard treatment n=1). Fewer strokes occurred among participants without prior cardiovascular disease in the intensive (n=43) than the standard arm (n=61), but the difference did not reach predefined statistical significance level of 0.05 (P=0.09). The interaction between baseline cardiovascular risk factor status and treatment arm on stroke risk did not reach significance (P=0.05). Similar numbers of stroke subtypes occurred in the intensive BP control and standard control arms of SPRINT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1391-1398
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021


  • atherosclerosis
  • blood pressure
  • hemorrhagic stroke
  • hypertension
  • ischemic stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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