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WHO publishes new guidelines on the pharmacological treatment of hypertension

25 Aug 2021

The number of adults aged 30-79 living with hypertension has doubled from 650 million to 1.28 billion since 1990 and more than 700 million people are living with untreated hypertension, according to the first comprehensive global analysis of trends in hypertension prevalence, detection, treatment and control, published today in The Lancet.

In what can be considered a landmark week for hypertension, today the World Health Organization (WHO) also published a new set of guidelines on the pharmacological treatment of hypertension in adults. The guidelines provide recommendations to help countries improve their management of hypertension, including guidance on the initiation of treatment; recommendations on intervals for follow up; target blood pressure to be achieved for control; and who, in the healthcare system, may initiate treatment.

WHF President Prof Fausto Pinto was invited to speak at the launch event, and welcomed the development of the new guidelines, saying, “WHF welcomes the launch of these important new guidelines, which represent one of the most relevant steps forward in terms of achieving cardiovascular health for everyone. But our work does not end here. We look forward to working closely with WHO on implementing these recommendations on a global scale.”

The new WHF Roadmap on Hypertension, which will be published in next month, will complement the new guidelines,  focusing on barriers and proposing solutions for their implementation at the national level.

The Guideline Development Group included WHF Board Member Dr Tom Gaziano and Chair of the WHF Advocacy Committee Dr Beatriz Champagne.