ESH '07: New Consensus Hypertension Guidelines From the European Society of Hypertension/European Society of Cardiology (ESH/ESC)

Linda Brookes, MSc


September 17, 2007

In This Article

Presenting the New European Hypertension Guidelines

The second version of the guidelines for the management of arterial hypertension, produced jointly by the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) and the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), were presented at this year's ESH conference in Milan, Italy. The guidelines represent the work of a joint task force co-chaired by Giuseppe Mancia, MD, PhD (University of Milan-Bicocca, Monza, Italy), for ESH, and Guy De Backer, MD, PhD (University of Ghent, Belgium), for ESC, and have been published in slightly different formats by the 2 organizations.[1,2] These guidelines supersede the first ESH/ESC guidelines, published in 2003,[3] and will be incorporated into the latest European Guidelines on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Clinical Practice, which will be released during the ESC's annual congress in Vienna, Austria (September 1-5, 2007).[4]

The new hypertension guidelines are based on the same principles as the 2003 version, with the repeated aim of being educational, rather than prescriptive or coercive. As described by Prof. Mancia, they attempt "to offer the best and balanced recommendations via an extensive and critical review of the literature, but also to provide simple recommendations via condensed position statements."[5] The data on which the guidelines are based come mainly from clinical trials, but observational and other data sources deemed to be of sufficiently high standard were also considered. Unlike guidelines such as the recent American Heart Association (AHA) recommendations for the treatment of hypertension,[6] the European recommendations are not classified by level or strength of the evidence on which they are based. The authors felt that this was difficult to apply and could only be applied to therapeutic aspects, Prof. Mancia said.


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