THURSDAY, July 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Adoption of the 2017 American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA) hypertension guidelines would increase the proportion of 45- to 75-year-olds labeled as having hypertension in the United States and China, according to a study published online July 11 in The BMJ.

Rohan Khera, M.D., from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues examined the effect of the 2017 ACC/AHA hypertension guidelines on the prevalence of hypertension and eligibility for treatment. Participants were from nationally representative samples in the United States and China and included all 45- to 75-year-old adults who would have a diagnosis of hypertension and be candidates for treatment based on the ACC/AHA versus the current guidelines.

The researchers found that adoption of the 2017 ACC/AHA hypertension guidelines in the United States would label 70.1 million people (63 percent) aged 45 to 75 years with hypertension. Their adoption in China would label 266.9 million people (55 percent) aged 45 to 75 years as having hypertension. This would represent an increase in prevalence of 26.8 and 45.1 percent in the United States and China, respectively. Based on treatment patterns and current guidelines, the number untreated would be expected to increase from 8.1 to 15.6 million people and from 74.5 to 129.8 million people in the United States and China, respectively.

“If adopted, the 2017 ACC/AHA hypertension guidelines will markedly increase the number of people labeled as having hypertension and treated with drugs,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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