What are the key findings of the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC 7)?

Updated: Feb 22, 2019
  • Author: Matthew R Alexander, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Key messages of the JNC 7 were as follows [5] :

  • The goals of antihypertensive therapy is the reduction of cardiovascular and renal morbidity and mortality, with the focus on controlling the systolic BP, as most patients will achieve diastolic BP control when the systolic BP is achieved

  • Prehypertension (systolic 120-139 mm Hg, diastolic 80-89 mm Hg) requires health-promoting lifestyle modifications to prevent the progressive rise in BP and cardiovascular disease

  • In uncomplicated hypertension, a thiazide diuretic, either alone or combined with drugs from other classes, should be used for the pharmacologic treatment of most cases

  • In specific high-risk conditions, there are compelling indications for the use of other antihypertensive drug classes (eg, angiotensin-converting enzyme  inhibitors [ACEIs], angiotensin receptor blockers [ARBs], beta blockers, calcium channel blockers)

  • Two or more antihypertensive medications will be required to achieve goal BP (< 140/90 mm Hg or < 130/80 mm Hg) for patients with diabetes and chronic kidney disease

  • For patients whose BP is more than 20 mm Hg above the systolic BP goal or more than 10 mm Hg above the diastolic BP goal, initiation of therapy using 2 agents, one of which usually will be a thiazide diuretic, should be considered

  • Regardless of therapy or care, hypertension will be controlled only if patients are motivated to stay on their treatment plan

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