Which organizations have issued guidelines on screening for hypertension (high blood pressure)?

Updated: Feb 22, 2019
  • Author: Matthew R Alexander, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Answer

Guidelines on screening for hypertension have been issued by the following organizations:

  • United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)
  • Joint National Committee (JNC)
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
  • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)/Department of Defense (DoD)
  • European Society of Hypertension (ESH)/European Society of Cardiology (ESC)

The 2013 joint European Society of Hypertension (ESH) and the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines recommend that ambulatory blood-pressure monitoring (ABPM) be incorporated into the assessment of cardiovascular risk factors and hypertension. [125, 126]

A comparison of the recommendations for blood pressure screening is provided in Table 4 below.

Table 4. Guidelines for Blood Pressure Screening in Adults (Open Table in a new window)

Issuing Organization

Year

Screening Populations

Screening Measurement

Screening Interval

European Society of Cardiology/ European Society of Hypertension 

(ESC/ESH) [9]

2018

All adults

Office measurement

At regular intervals on the basis of the blood pressure level:

  • Healthy people with optimal office blood pressure (< 120/80 mm Hg): Every 5 years; remeasure if seen sooner.
  • Patients with normal blood pressure (120-129/80-84 mm Hg): Minimum of every 3 years.
  • Patients with high-normal blood pressure (130–139/85–89 mm Hg): Annually.

US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)  [127]

2015

Adults ≥18 years without known hypertension

Measurements outside of the clinical setting should be obtained for diagnostic confirmation before starting treatment.

No evidence was found for a single gold standard protocol for HBPM or ABPM. However, both may be used in conjunction with proper office measurement to make a diagnosis and guide management and treatment options.

Annually for adults age ≥40 and those at increased risk for high blood pressure including those who have high-normal blood pressure (130–139/85–89 mm Hg), are overweight or obese, or are African American.

Adults ages ≥18 to < 40 years with normal blood pressure (≤130/85mm Hg) with no known risk factors should be screened every 3-5 years

Seventh Report of the Prevention,

Detection,

Evaluation, and

Treatment of the Joint National Committee on

High Blood Pressure (JNC 7) [5]

2003

Adults ages ≥18 years

Diagnosis based on average of 2 or more seated blood pressure readings on each of two or more office visits

At least once every 2 years in adults with blood pressure less than 120/80 mm Hg and every year in those with levels of 120–139/80–89 mm Hg.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) [128]

2013

All females ages ≥13 years

Office measurement

Annually as part of routine well-woman care

Department of Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense (VA/DoD) [129]

2014

All adults

Office measurement;

Diagnosis based on 2 readings at 2 separate visits; For patients where diagnosis remains uncertain, home blood pressure monitoring (2-3 times a day for 7 days) or 24 hour ambulatory monitoring to confirm diagnosis

Periodic, preferably annually, at time of routine preventative care or health assessment;

European Society of Hypertension /European Society of Cardiology 

(ESH/ESC) [126]

2013

All adults

Office measurement; Diagnosis based on at least 2 readings at 2 separate visits; Consider home blood pressure monitoring or 24 hour ambulatory monitoring to confirm diagnosis

At time of routine preventative care or health assessment

 

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