NICE Guidelines 2019

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The Updated NICE Guidelines Don't Go Far Enough
29/08/2019

New NICE guideline on Hypertension in adults: diagnosis and management

UK health experts aim to make blood pressure medicines more available, but is it enough?  

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have updated their guidelines for health professionals who diagnose and treat high blood pressure. The guideline covers identifying and treating primary hypertension (high blood pressure) in people aged 18 and over, including people with type 2 diabetes. It aims to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks and strokes by helping healthcare professionals to diagnose hypertension accurately and treat it effectively.

The gudielines are for:

  • Healthcare professionals
  • Commissioners, and providers
  • People who have or may have high blood pressure, their families and carers

The most significant change in the final guidance is recommending that blood pressure medicines are offered to people with stage 1 hypertension (blood pressure over 140/90mmHg) who have a 10% risk of developing a related disease in the next 10 years, rather than a 20% risk, as in the previous guidelines. 

The idea is to prevent unnecessary heart attacks and strokes by offering blood pressure treatment at an earlier stage.  Although this sounds like a big change, it will not dramatically affect blood pressure treatment. 

Blood Pressure UK says "We don’t feel the guidelines go anywhere near far enough to tackle the huge numbers of people living with undetected or uncontrolled blood pressure.  We are disappointed that patients are still being given little say in their treatment. We also feel that there should be more emphasis on home blood pressure monitoring, based on the most recent evidence."

REF

NICE guideline on Hypertension in adults: diagnosis and management https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng136



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