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The ASCOT trial is likely to have a 'significant impact' on new NICE and British Hypertension Society guidelines for hypertension, a preliminary review has concluded.

The Expert Advisory Committee review, by representatives of NICE, the BHS and the Blood Pressure Association, has confirmed the need for a wider evaluation of hypertension guidance.

The new review, which will also involve the National Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions, will consider evidence from ASCOT that ?-blockers should be dropped as first-line therapy.

Professor Peter Littlejohns, NICE clinical and public health director, said: 'The new data considered by the hypertension expert advisory committee are, in their view, likely to have a significant impact on the recommendations in the existing NICE guideline and also in the BHS guideline relating to pharmacological therapy to manage hypertension.

'Accordingly, we have asked the NCC-CC to work with the BHS to begin the review process immediately so that we are in a position to provide GPs with clear guidance as soon as

possible.'

Professor Bryan Williams, chair of the BHS NHS guideline development group, said: 'This is a significant development in terms of ensuring that the many thousands of people with hypertension will be able to access treatments based on the most up-to-date clinical evidence.'

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