This guideline covers identifying and treating primary hypertension (high blood pressure) in people aged 18 and over. It aims to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks and strokes by helping healthcare professionals to diagnose hypertension accurately and treat it effectively. It also aims to reduce unnecessary treatment by improving the way blood pressure is measured.

NICE has also produced a guideline on hypertension in pregnancy.

In November 2016 a footnote about 2 MHRA drug safety alerts was added to recommendations in section 1.6 covering angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. These alerts cover ACE inhibitor use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Recommendations

This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Healthcare professionals
  • People who have or may have high blood pressure, their families and carers

Is this guideline up to date?

We reviewed the new evidence in October 2016 and we are updating this guideline. 

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

This guideline updates and replaces NICE guideline CG18 (August 2004) and NICE guideline CG34 (June 2006).

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.

Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.


Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)