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Abstract Purpose of Review To review the recent large-scale randomised evidence on pharmacologic reduction in blood pressure for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Recent Findings Based on findings of the meta-analysis of individual participant-level data from 48 randomised clinical trials and involving 344,716 participants with mean age of 65 years, the relative reduction in the risk of developing major cardiovascular events was proportional to the magnitude of achieved reduction in blood pressure. For each 5-mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure, the risk of developing cardiovascular events fell by 10% (hazard ratio [HR] (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.90 [0.88 to 0.92]). When participants were stratified by their history of cardiovascular disease, the HRs (95% CI) in those with and without previous cardiovascular disease were 0.89 (0.86 to 0.92) and 0.91 (0.89 to 0.94), respectively, with no significant heterogeneity in these effects (adjusted P for interaction = 1.0). When these patient groups were further stratified by their baseline systolic blood pressure in increments of 10 mmHg from < 120 to ≥ 170 mmHg, there was no significant heterogeneity in the relative risk reduction across these categories in people with or without previous cardiovascular disease (adjusted P for interaction were 1.00 and 0.28, respectively). Summary Pharmacologic lowering of blood pressure was effective in preventing major cardiovascular disease events both in people with or without previous cardiovascular disease, which was not modified by their baseline blood pressure level. Treatment effects were shown to be proportional to the intensity of blood pressure reduction, but even modest blood pressure reduction, on average, can lead to meaningful gains in the prevention of incident or recurrent cardiovascular disease.

Original publication




Journal article


Current Cardiology Reports


Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication Date





851 - 860