What is the ideal Blood Pressure?

Physicians and patients often wonder what is an appropriate target for blood pressure in individuals who are at high risk for cardiovascular complications.  Is a systolic blood pressure of 120 ideal or is anything lower than 140 best?
Thanks to a  landmark study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on November 26 2015, we now have those answers.  Researchers assigned over 9300 patients who had high blood pressure (defined as greater than a  systolic  blood pressure of 130) to a systolic blood pressure target of 120 (intensive treatment) or a systolic blood pressure of 140 (considered standard treatment).  The study was stopped early after 3 years as the intensive treatment group had a 25 % reduction in the risk of developing a heart attack, stroke or heart failure.  In addition the same intensive treatment group had a 27 % decreased relative risk of death.
This study finally provides firm evidence to doctors and patients alike that individuals with high blood pressure who are at high risk of cardiovascular disease are best off treated to a systolic  blood pressure of 120.