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June 2018

Incremental Benefits and Harms of the 2017 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association High Blood Pressure Guideline

Author Affiliations
  • 1School of Public Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2Centre for Research in Evidence Based Practice, Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(6):755-757. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.0310

The recent recommendations from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) to lower the thresholds for defining hypertension and for treating higher-risk patients1 have been controversial. For example, the Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians (ACP) argued that the changes are “not supported by evidence and may result in low-value care,”2 and the American Academy for Family Physicians (AAFP) raised concerns that the “harms of treating a patient to a lower blood pressure (BP) were not assessed.”3 The Table summarizes key differences between the ACC/AHA guideline and prior guidelines.6,7

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