High Blood Pressure

for Health Professionals
Clinical Practice Guidelines

The IOM (2011) defined clinical practice guidelines as "statements that include recommendations intended to optimize patient care that are informed by a systematic review of evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of alternative care options."

Systematic Evidence Reviews

In 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) defined a systematic evidence review as "a scientific investigation that focuses on a specific question and uses explicit, prespecified scientific methods to identify, select, assess, and summarize the findings of similar but separate studies.

Photo of blood pressure monitor on a person's arm
Research Feature
Health experts are calling the recent release of new blood pressure guidelines a major step toward helping Americans reduce their risk of heart disease, the leading cause of U.S. deaths. Developed jointly by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the guidelines now define hypertension as a systolic blood pressure of 130 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher, rather than 140 mm Hg or higher. Importantly, the guidelines emphasize lifestyle changes—heart-healthy diets, weight loss, and exercise—as a key first step for many Americans trying to reach t...