New Standard for Diagnosis of Hypertension

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On November 13, 2017,  the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) released a new report that recommends changing the clinical parameters for the diagnosis of hypertension from 140sbp/90dbp to 130sbp/80dpb.  This is a big deal and will affect everyone who performs blood pressure measurement including worksite wellness programs and specifically their preventive screening interventions.  This change also means that tens of millions of more people will now be diagnosed with hypertension and will now need lifestyle and prescription drug intervention.

The full report which is 400+ pages is available at no cost on the American College of Cardiology website at

Below you will find a much more readable and practical document called the 2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA /ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults: GUIDELINES MADE SIMPLE: A Selection of Tables and Figures.

It is interesting that the full report has no mention of the United States Clinical Preventive Services Task Force (USCPSTF) which will ultimately have to weigh in on this significant change in clinical standards.  The ACC and AHA apparently feel that they have sufficient research data to meet the burden of proof required for USCPSTF agreement.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will also have to weigh in on this change as it relates to the National High Blood Pressure Education Program.

The document you can download below will allow you to:

  • See the full new standard including new numbers for various stages
  • Assess the epidemiological relevance of the change
  • Adjust your preventive screening activity and employee education efforts
  • See the recommended advice on hypertension that physicians are expected to give patients
  • Use this change to re-energize your preventive screening activity

In summary this is an excellent quick reference on the newly recommended standards surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension.

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