In our weekly Trends that Matter series, we provide infographics, articles and recent news from influencers to highlight general trends affecting the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. This week's featured topic is hypertension.
A new clinical practice guideline’s lower threshold for hypertension increases the prevalence of the condition to include nearly half of adults in the U.S. But this doesn’t necessarily mean patients below the old standard will require antihypertensive drugs.
Instead, the guideline focuses on alternative approaches for many at-risk individuals, thus opening the door to opportunities for health plans ranging from adherence incentives to lifestyle management and disease management programs, industry experts say.
The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) on Nov. 13 jointly issued the first comprehensive new high blood pressure guideline in more than a decade. It recommends treating high blood pressure earlier — with lifestyle changes and, in some patients, with medication — at a hypertension threshold that begins at 130 /80 mm Hg rather than the previous guideline’s standard of 140/90. The new “normal” is less than 120/80, and the elevated blood pressure range is 120-129/80.
This revised standard raises the prevalence of hypertension to include 46% of adults in the U.S., up from 32% under the previous guideline.
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