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.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- measuring blood pressure
- assessing cardiovascular risk and target organ damage
- lifestyle interventions
- initiating and monitoring antihypertensive drug treatment, including blood pressure targets
- choosing antihypertensive drug treatment
- patient education and adherence to treatment
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
This guideline updates and replaces NICE guideline CG18 (August 2004) and NICE guideline CG34 (June 2006).
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.
Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users 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 compliance with those duties.