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JBS to advise occasional high blood pressure be treated

By Lilian Anekwe

The new Joint British Societies' guidance on hypertension look likely to include recommendations on managing occasional high blood pressure, Pulse has learned.

A series of papers published in The Lancet and The Lancet Neurology in March found episodic hypertension is associated with a higher stroke risk than persistent hypertension, despite patients having a lower mean blood pressure.

At a plenary session at the European Hypertension Meeting in Oslo last week, Professor Gordon McInnes, professor of clinical pharmacology at the University of Glasgow and a member of the BHS' guidelines working party said: ‘The Lancet research showed that blood pressure variability is indeed a sign of uncontrolled blood pressure, and GPs should treat it as such.'

The new JBS guidance is due out later this summer and NICE has already said it would take blood pressure variability into account when revising its hypertension guidance next year.

Professor Peter Rothwell, director of the Oxford University stroke prevention unit which led the Lancet research, told Pulse: ‘The BHS seem very keen to think about the issue of how we can make this work in clinical practice. I get the impression that guidance might taken that on board.

‘What I would advise is asking patients to do seven-day monitoring and then 24-ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. The combination of these two measurements is a pretty good measure of blood pressure variability. A lot of GPs are doing ABPM when they are not sure about a diagnosis, and so a simple combination of this kind could be quite easy.'

JBS to advise occasional high blood pressure be treated