Intended for healthcare professionals


NICE proposes lower threshold for treating high blood pressure

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 08 March 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l1105
  1. Harriet Pike
  1. Cambridge

Thousands more people could be eligible for drugs to lower blood pressure under draft clinical guidelines published by the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence on 8 March 2019.1

The new recommendations reduce the threshold for risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) at which blood pressure lowering treatment should be considered. The draft guideline suggests that treatment be offered to patients under the age of 80 years with a diagnosis of stage 1 hypertension if they have a 10 year CVD risk of 10% or more. This is in contrast to the 20% risk threshold used in previous NICE guidelines.2

The change could result in as many as 450 000 more men and 270 000 more women in England with high blood pressure being eligible for treatment. But NICE said that many of these patients were likely to be already being treated because of variation in how …

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