AAFP does not endorse new hypertension guideline

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AAFP continues to use the 2014 JNC8 guideline instead of the 2017 AHA/ACC update.
AAFP continues to use the 2014 JNC8 guideline instead of the 2017 AHA/ACC update.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has not endorsed the 2017 hypertension guideline released by the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC). The AAFP will continue to endorse the 2014 Evidence-Based Guideline for the Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults from the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC8), according to an AAFP press release.

The AAFP, which was not involved in generating the new AHA/ACC hypertension guideline, used the same review process for both the AHA/ACC and JNC8 blood pressure guidelines and found that there was more robust scientific evidence to support the 2014 guidelines, a major factor in the AAFP's decision.

David O'Gurek, MD, chair of the Commission on Health of the Public and Science for AAFP, noted that the JNC8 guideline “provided strong recommendations to family physicians and patients on appropriate treatment of hypertension.”

While the 2017 AHA/ACC guideline used a system to grade the quality of evidence, background resources were not fully assessed and certain trials were heavily weighted while others were not, Dr O'Gurek added.

The two major contributing factors to the decision were the absence of a formatted review process and the lack of quality review for each study by the AHA/ACC. According to the AAFP review process, some parts of the new guidelines did not meet the organization's criteria.

Jennifer Frost, MD, the medical director for the AAFP Health of the Public and Science Division, stated that a positive point of the new hypertension guideline was that it stressed the importance of proper technique and validated device usage for at-home blood pressure monitoring systems.

Dr Frost added that another positive from the new guideline is the emphasis on healthy lifestyle choices to reduce the risk of hypertension, which “is important for all individuals, whether or not they have a diagnosis of hypertension.” 

Reference

  1. AAFP decides to not endorse AHA/ACC hypertension guideline. Crawford C. [Press-Release]. American Academy of Family Physicians. Dec 12 2017. Accessible at: https://www.aafp.org/news/health-of-the-public/20171212notendorseaha-accgdlne.html
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