Since the mid-1970s, the NHLBI has collaborated with researchers and practitioners to develop clinical practice guidelines focused on the management of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Five years ago, the Institute undertook an ambitious project to develop new reports on cardiovascular risk assessment, lifestyle modification, and obesity as well as update its guidelines on high cholesterol ("ATP") and high blood pressure ("JNC"). Despite the diligent efforts of all our collaborators in this new initiative, completion of the projects has taken longer than anticipated.
The extended period of guideline development reflects the unprecedented scope and complexity of the new approach. In addition, the anticipated release date of the guidelines was further extended in response to the recommendation of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council to incorporate enhancements to the vetting process to address new "best practice" standards proposed by the Institute of Medicine in its report "Clinical Practice Guidelines We Can Trust," released in 2011. Although the new approach has required adaptations along the way, we are pleased to report that substantial progress has been made toward our objective of developing timely, credible, high-quality guidelines that will fulfill the Institute's goal of promoting the reduction of cardiovascular risk in the U.S. and around the world.
The NHLBI and our collaborators look forward to receiving input from all parties who are interested in the guidelines during the forthcoming public comment period. To facilitate the public's active engagement in the process, we have established a website feature where we will provide updated status reports and timelines for tracking the progress of each guideline component: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/indevelop.htm.
We anticipate that this collective effort by the NHLBI community of partners, patients, and practitioners will produce materials that are consistent with our proud legacy of public education to advance cardiovascular health.