- This comparison of the latest European and US hypertension guidelines highlights their difference on a crucial issue: the cutoff for hypertension needing treatment:
- US guidelines set a universal cutoff of >130/80 mmHg.
- European guidelines define it as >140/90 mmHg, targeting
- Both use the same evidence base to reach these different conclusions, say the study authors, publishing in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).
Why this matters
- Although recommendations agree on almost everything, the gap for defining treatment-requiring hypertension is substantial.
- The 2 guidelines also diverge on when to use single-pill combination therapy: US recommendations call for use at >20/10 mmHg over goal vs European cutoff at ≥140/90 mmHg.
- They do agree on other things, such as:
- Emphasizing lifestyle modifications in all patients;
- Proper BP measurement (preparing patient with feet on floor and back supported, telling patient the values, using correct cuff size); and
- Restricting use of beta-blockers to specific populations.
- A guidelines comparison.
- Funding: None disclosed.
- The authors are careful to say that “there is no fundamental problem with any of the guidelines.”