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New guideline will put 30 million more Americans in high BP group

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j5357 (Published 17 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5357
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

New US guidelines will bring the number of US adults considered to have high blood pressure from 72 million to 103 million.

The new guidance, published by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, defines pressure over 130/80 mm Hg as hypertension, instead of 140/90 as previously.1 As a result of the change, the number of diagnosable cases of hypertension among US men aged under 45 will triple, while the number of hypertensive women under 45 will double. But it is not expected to lead to a commensurate increase in the number of people taking blood pressure lowering drugs, as the guidelines urge lifestyle intervention first for people at the lower end of the hypertensive range.

The guidelines committee estimated that an extra 4.2 million people in …

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