The clinical advisory body, which is currently reviewing UK hypertension guidelines with a view to updating them in August 2019, told Pulse the reviews were ‘asking the same questions’.
The new US guidelines, published by the American Heart Association, decreased the threshold for stage one hypertension from an average systolic blood pressure of 140 to 130 mmHg, and from ≥160 to ≥140 mmHg for stage two.
Researchers said the changes could mean an extra 14% of people were diagnosed with hypertension, which would bring the total number to 46% of the country’s population.
The change was prompted by the 2015 SPRINT study, which showed that by treating patients with a target blood pressure of 120 mmHg, rather than the 140 mmHg target, mortality and cardiovascular events were significantly reduced.
When asked whether the changes brought in the US would be considered in the updated UK guidelines, a NICE spokesperson said: ‘Yes, we are asking some of the same questions being considered in the US and in doing so will be considering some of the same evidence.’