High blood pressure (hypertension) is the leading cause of death in the world affecting more than 1.4 billion people and accounting for more than 28,000 deaths each day. On May 6 the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) released the “ISH 2020 Global Hypertension Practice Guidelines” to help reduce the burden of this significant health threat affecting people from every country and socio-economic group.
Developed by a world-wide panel of leading hypertension specialists from across the world, including Associate Professor of pharmacology and medicine Richard Wainford, PhD, the guidelines outline the best approaches to the management of hypertension and provide simple, clear recommendations for health professionals and those affected by the condition.
According to the ISH these are the first guidelines developed specifically for the management of hypertension regardless of population or resources. This is particularly important because approximately 72 percent of the global hypertensive population reside in low and middle-income countries. “We believe these simplified guidelines will be of use globally and may be of most use in countries that do not have their own national hypertension practice guidelines,” said Dr. Wainford.
The goal is for the guidelines to be used globally versus a specific region and to be concise, simplified, and easy to use by clinicians, nurses, and community health workers. “The inclusion of optimal and essential treatment paradigms throughout the guidelines attempts to address the issue that in resource-poor settings it may not be possible to access cutting-edge medical equipment and technology – however it is still possible to address hypertension prevalence and treatment,” he added.
It has been seven years since the International Society of Hypertension issued global treatment guidelines. Dr. Wainford and the ISH Hypertension Guideline Committee hope that by improving the global awareness of hypertension and providing guidance in a simple easy to reference format, significant progress can be made in reducing the global public health burden of hypertension.
The Guidelines have been published simultaneously in the medical journals Hypertension and Journal of Hypertension.
Matt Birnholz, MDPeer
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