New hypertension guidelines from the European Society of Hypertension and the European Society of Cardiology were released in Milan today at the European Meeting on Hypertension & Cardiovascular Protection.
The authors of the guidelines write that “despite overwhelming evidence that hypertension is a major cardiovascular risk, studies show that many are still unaware of the condition, that target blood pressure levels are seldom achieved”. They report that hypertension affects 30-45% of people in Europe.
Perhaps the biggest single change in the new document is the adoption of a single systolic blood pressure target for almost all patients: 140 mmHg, This replaces the previous, more complicated target, which included both systolic and diastolic recommendations for different levels of risk (140/90 mmHg for moderate to low risk patients and 130/80 mmHg target for high risk patients). One of the authors, Robert Fagard, commented: “there was not enough evidence to justify two targets.”