Clinical Edge

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ACC/AHA Guideline Impact on Prevalence of Hypertension

BMJ; ePub 2018 Jul 11; Khera, Lu, et al

Adoption of the new 2017 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) hypertension guidelines would be associated with a substantial increase in the prevalence of hypertension and the number of people treated with drugs in both the US and China, a recent study found. Researchers analyzed data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for the most recent 2 cycles (2013-2014, 2015-2016) and China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) (2011-2012). Participants included all adults aged 45-75 who would have a diagnosis of hypertension and be candidates for treatment on the basis of the ACC/AHA guidelines, compared with current guidelines. Among the findings:

  • The number of people labeled as having hypertension in the US and China would increase by 26.8% and 45.1%, respectively.
  • In the US and China, respectively, 7.5 million and 55.3 million people would be newly recommended for antihypertensive treatment.
  • Another 13.9 million and 30 million, respectively, would be newly recommended for intensification of treatment.


Khera R, Lu Y, Lu J, et al. Impact of 2017 ACC/AHA guidelines on prevalence of hypertension and eligibility for antihypertensive treatment in United States and China: Nationally representative cross sectional study. [Published online ahead of print July 11, 2018]. BMJ. doi:10.1136/bmj.k2357.