SPRINT (Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial) and the ACCORD (Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes) blood pressure trial used similar interventions but produced discordant results. We investigated whether differences in systolic blood pressure (SBP) response contributed to the discordant trial results.


We evaluated the distributions of SBP response during the first year for the intensive and standard treatment groups of SPRINT and ACCORD using growth mixture models. We assessed whether significant differences existed between trials in the distributions of SBP achieved at 1 year and the treatment-independent relationships of achieved SBP with risks of primary outcomes defined in each trial, heart failure, stroke, and all-cause death. We examined whether visit-to-visit variability was associated with heterogeneous treatment effects. Among the included 9027 SPRINT and 4575 ACCORD participants, the difference in mean SBP achieved between treatment groups was 15.7 mm Hg in SPRINT and 14.2 mm Hg in ACCORD, but SPRINT had significantly less between-group overlap in the achieved SBP (standard deviations of intensive and standard groups, respectively: 6.7 and 5.9 mm Hg in SPRINT versus 8.8 and 8.2 mm Hg in ACCORD; P<0.001). The relationship between achieved SBP and outcomes was consistent across trials except for stroke and all-cause death. Higher visit-to-visit variability was more common in SPRINT but without treatment-effect heterogeneity.


SPRINT and ACCORD had different degrees of separation in achieved SBP between treatment groups, even as they had similar mean differences. The greater between-group overlap of achieved SBP may have contributed to the discordant trial results.

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© 2017 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

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