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January 17, 1977

The Report on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure

JAMA. 1977;237(3):267. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270300071012

Hypertension that goes undetected or untreated is a major cause of mortality and morbidity. However, most patients with hypertension can be effectively treated, their blood pressure lowered, and their risk of death and adverse effects reduced. Hypertension poses a major challenge to the medical profession and offers physicians a unique opportunity to practice preventive medicine. Therefore, all physicians should give careful attention to the report of the Joint National Committee on detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood pressure (p 255).

Each member of the commission represents a major organization or agency, and the report has the endorsement of these organizations and agencies. Although the report was sponsored by the National Heart and Lung Institute, it is not a government directive on how to practice medicine. The report should be viewed as a useful guide and not as a rigid directive on how to manage high blood pressure. One should