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Reports From the Field: New BP guidelines establish diagnosis of pre-hypertension
Level seeks to identify at-risk individuals early
New clinical practice guidelines for the prevention, detection, and treatment of high blood pressure have been released by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in Bethesda, MD. The guidelines, approved by the Coordinating Committee of the NHLBI’s National High Blood Pressure Education Program, include altered blood pressure categories, featuring a new "pre-hypertension" level, which covers about 45 million adult Americans.
The guidelines also streamline steps by which doctors diagnose and treat patients and recommend the use of diuretics as part of the drug treatment plan for high blood pressure in most patients.
Here are the key aspects of the guidelines:
The guidelines do not recommend drug therapy for those with pre-hypertension unless it is required by another condition, such as diabetes or chronic kidney disease, but it advises them to make any needed lifestyle changes.