How low should you get blood pressure to go? One group of researchers examined the cost effectiveness of intensive blood pressure control.
Is Intensive Blood Pressure Control Worth the Effort?
Two years ago, the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) showed that lowering systolic pressure below 120 was better at preventing heart disease, complications and premature death than aiming for 140. However, the scientists running SPRINT were very careful about selecting patients who would get the most benefit from intensive blood pressure control.
In addition, questions remained about whether the difficulties of achieving such low blood pressure and the potential side effects people might suffer would make this intervention too costly. In many cases, volunteers needed to take several medications in order to get systolic blood pressure even close to 120.
Intensive Blood Pressure Control Is Considered Cost Effective:
The computer simulation the scientists developed suggests that intensive control would cost approximately $47,000 per quality adjusted life year. That meets the criterion of being less that $50,000 per QALY. An accompanying research study concluded that that there were no significant differences in patient satisfaction between those under intensive therapy and those under standard care.