PRACTICE GUIDELINE
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Pharmacologic Treatment of Hypertension in Adults Aged 60 Years or Older to Higher Versus Lower Blood Pressure Targets: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

DESCRIPTION: The American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) jointly developed this guideline to present the evidence and provide clinical recommendations based on the benefits and harms of higher versus lower blood pressure targets for the treatment of hypertension in adults aged 60 years or older.

METHODS: This guideline is based on a systematic review of published randomized, controlled trials for primary outcomes and observational studies for harms only (identified through EMBASE, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, MEDLINE, and ClinicalTrials.gov), from database inception through January 2015. The MEDLINE search was updated through September 2016. Evaluated outcomes included all-cause mortality, morbidity and mortality related to stroke, major cardiac events (fatal and nonfatal myocardial infarction and sudden cardiac death), and harms. This guideline grades the evidence and recommendations using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation) method.

TARGET AUDIENCE AND PATIENT POPULATION: The target audience for this guideline includes all clinicians, and the target patient population includes all adults aged 60 years or older with hypertension.

RECOMMENDATION 1: ACP and AAFP recommend that clinicians initiate treatment in adults aged 60 years or older with systolic blood pressure persistently at or above 150 mm Hg to achieve a target systolic blood pressure of less than 150 mm Hg to reduce the risk for mortality, stroke, and cardiac events. (Grade: strong recommendation, high-quality evidence). ACP and AAFP recommend that clinicians select the treatment goals for adults aged 60 years or older based on a periodic discussion of the benefits and harms of specific blood pressure targets with the patient.

RECOMMENDATION 2: ACP and AAFP recommend that clinicians consider initiating or intensifying pharmacologic treatment in adults aged 60 years or older with a history of stroke or transient ischemic attack to achieve a target systolic blood pressure of less than 140 mm Hg to reduce the risk for recurrent stroke. (Grade: weak recommendation, moderate-quality evidence). ACP and AAFP recommend that clinicians select the treatment goals for adults aged 60 years or older based on a periodic discussion of the benefits and harms of specific blood pressure targets with the patient.

RECOMMENDATION 3: ACP and AAFP recommend that clinicians consider initiating or intensifying pharmacologic treatment in some adults aged 60 years or older at high cardiovascular risk, based on individualized assessment, to achieve a target systolic blood pressure of less than 140 mm Hg to reduce the risk for stroke or cardiac events. (Grade: weak recommendation, low-quality evidence). ACP and AAFP recommend that clinicians select the treatment goals for adults aged 60 years or older based on a periodic discussion of the benefits and harms of specific blood pressure targets with the patient.

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