Controversial 2017 hypertension guidelines could save 300K lives every year

Researchers said the number of U.S. adults with hypertension would grow by 31 million and the number of adults recommended for antihypertensive treatment would increase by 11 million, based on the 2017 blood pressure guidelines issued by American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA). A new analysis of the potential impact of these guidelines was published in JAMA Cardiology on May 23.

The researchers, led by first author Jiang He, MD, PhD, of Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans sought to estimate the effects of both the 2017 and 2014 hypertension guidelines on proportions of adults defines as having high blood pressure or recommended for antihypertensive treatment and reductions in cardiovascular disease and mortality.

The controversial 2017 guidelines were issued in November and define hypertension as blood pressure greater than or equal to 130/80 mmHg. Previous guidelines issued in 2014 defined hypertension as blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg.

He et al. found the prevalence of hypertension among U.S. adults, according to the 2017 hypertension guideline, was approximately 45 percent, which represents 105 million U.S. adults. Prevalence of hypertension among U.S. adults according to the 2014 hypertension guideline was 32 percent, representing 74 million adults.

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