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Hypertension - Understanding targets

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Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD)1 and it is known that for every 2mmHg rise in mercury of systolic blood pressure (BP) there is an increase of 7% in the risk in heart disease and of 10% in the risk of stroke.2 This also means that for every decrease there will be a corresponding reduction in the risk of stroke and CVD.3 Hypertension on its own is a risk factor for CVD but when other risks are present there is a cumulative increased risk. Therefore it is appropriate to not only obtain an accurate reading and diagnosis to enable appropriate treatement,4 but also to understand the target levels for different circumstances and for individuals with other comorbidities.

This resource, consisting of five assessment questions at intermediate level, tests your knowledge of the treatment goals for hypertension, based on current guidance. Complete the resource, including reading the featured articles and undertaking some or all of the activities, to obtain a certificate for one hour of continuing professional development to include in your annual portfolio.

Aims and objectives

On completion of this resource you should have an understanding of:

  • Recommended blood pressure targets in those less than 80 years old
  • Recommended blood pressure targets in those more than 80 years old
  • The changes to targets in someone who has had a stroke
  • The implications for targets in someone has chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • The implications for targets for people with diabetes, and
  • Age factors that may be important

References/Further Reading

1 JBS3. Joint British Societies guidelines on prevention of cardiovascular disease in clinical practice, 2014 http://heart.bmj.com/content/100/Suppl_2/ii1.full

2 British Hypertension Society guidelines http://www.bhsoc.org/latest-guidelines/sub-page-1/

3 UK National Screening Committee. The Handbook for Vascular Risk Assessment, Risk Reduction and Risk Management 2012, updated http://www.healthcheck.nhs.uk/commissioners_and_healthcare_professionals/national_guidance/cardiovascular_risk_assessment/

4 NICE CG 127, Hypertension: clinical management of primary hypertension in adults, 2011. http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/CG127