Hypertension Guideline 2011

Hypertension Guideline 2011 Produced in a collaboration between the British Hypertension Society and NICE

The statement following the links below was produced by the British Hypertension Society to launch the new guideline in August 2011

Full details including implementation tools can be found on the NICE Hypertension Guideline Page


NICE guidelines change how high blood pressure is diagnosed and treated

Statement from the British Hypertension Society August 2011

High blood pressure is one of the most important preventable causes of heart disease and stroke in the UK.

NICE has today (Wednesday 24 August) published updated guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension) which were developed in partnership with the British Hypertension Society (BHS) 

In one of the biggest changes to NICE’s previous guidance, published in 2006, the new 2011 guideline recommends that a diagnosis of primary hypertension should be confirmed using 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) as gold standard rather than be based solely on measurements of blood pressure taken in the clinic. Furthermore the implementation of ABPM in diagnosis would be cost saving for the NHS (published in the Lancet 24/08/11).

The Guideline also gives a framework for use of home blood pressure monitoring (HBPM). For the first time this change empowers patients to become more involved in the monitoring and care of their hypertension.

The NICE guideline also recommends changing the priority of medicines used to treat hypertension in people over the age of 55, focusing upon calcium channel blockers, based on evidence of event reduction and importantly, cost-effectiveness. Thiazide-like diuretics represent an alternative for those with heart failure or the very elderly who are intolerant of calcium channel blockers. In addition, the evidence around the choice of thiazide-like diuretics suggests that chlortalidone or indapamide may be more effective than bendroflumethiazide. For the first time, the Guideline offers advice on treating hypertension in the very elderly (people aged over 80). New cost-effectiveness analysis shows that the cost of treating hypertension is now cheaper than doing nothing.

Professor Mark Caulfield, President of the British Hypertension Society and Guideline Development Group member said: “The British Hypertension Society is delighted to have partnered NICE in this new guideline which represents a major advance in the diagnosis and treatment of people with high blood pressure.”