Top societies release guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure.

High blood pressure affects approximately one in three adults in the Americas, Europe, some Asian countries and Australia, and one billion people worldwide. There is also a close relationship between blood pressure levels and the risk of cardiovascular events, strokes and kidney disease. Because of this epidemic, the American Society of Hypertension, Inc. (ASH) and the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) have created the first-ever guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of Hypertension: “Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Hypertension in the Community.”

Hypertension is also the most common chronic condition dealt with by primary care physicians and other healthcare practitioners. This led the societies to produce the guidelines to be usable for medical practitioners in any socioeconomic environment around the world ― from countries with state-of-the-art equipment to those that lack basic resources. The authors also said that most importantly, the guidelines are designed for easy implementation for doctors and healthcare professionals in even the poorest areas.

“These guidelines have been written to provide a straightforward approach to managing hypertension in the community. We are so proud to have created a set of guidelines that can help not only doctors but also patients understand their disease and the care they receive,” said Dr. Michael A. Weber, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Hypertension, former ASH President and current ISH Council member.

Dr. Ernesto L. Schiffrin, ISH President, added that they wanted to create guidelines for the management of hypertension for practitioners, “which would provide easy to follow recommendations that were evidence-based and could be carried out in countries that have healthcare systems with either limited or with abundant resources, and above all, that were simple and user-friendly, contributing thus to the control of this highly prevalent condition. Indeed, hypertension is the number one cause of burden of disease worldwide.”

According to Dr. William B. White, medical professor and ASH President, “with the development and dissemination of treatment guidelines that are designed to educate medical practitioners, doctors in training and other health care providers, ASH is furthering its commitment to our mission through initiatives that aim to improve the clinical management of hypertension and its complications.”

The guidelines’ 25 authors included top hypertension specialists and pharmacists from around the world, including past and present ASH and ISH officers. They were published on December 17 by the Journal of Clinical Hypertension in the U.S. and the Journal of Hypertension in Europe. They will appear in medical journals across Latin America and have been endorsed by the Asian Pacific Society of Hypertension. They have also been translated into French, Spanish and Creole, and there are plans to continue translations for populations across the globe.

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