High blood pressure affects approximately one in three adults in the Americas, Europe, some Asian countries and Australia, and one billion people globally. Because of this epidemic, The American Society of Hypertension, Inc. (ASH) and the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) have announced the creation of first-of-their-kind guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of Hypertension: "Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Hypertension in the Community."
These are the first guidelines to be usable for medical practitioners in any socioeconomic environment around the globe, from those countries with state-of-the-art equipment to those that lack basic resources. And, most importantly, they are designed with guidance that is easy to implement for doctors and healthcare professionals in even the most impoverished areas.
The guidelines were first published on December 17 by the Journal of Clinical Hypertension
in the U.S. and the Journal of Hypertension
in Europe. They will also appear in medical journals across Latin America and have been endorsed by the Asian Pacific Society of Hypertension. The guidelines have already been translated to French, Spanish and Creole, and there are plans to continue translations for populations across the globe.
"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," says Dr. Michael A. Weber, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Hypertension
, former ASH President and current ISH Council member.
"Within the International Society of Hypertension we wanted to create Guidelines for 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," says Dr. Ernesto L. Schiffrin, President of ISH.
Hypertension is the most common chronic condition dealt with by primary care physicians and other healthcare practitioners. There is also a close relationship between blood pressure levels and the risk of cardiovascular events, strokes and kidney disease.
"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," says Dr. William B. White, professor of medicine and current President of ASH.
The guidelines' 25 authors include top hypertension specialists and pharmacists from around the world, including past and present officers of the American Society of Hypertension and the International Society of Hypertension.