International Society of Hypertension Releases Global Practice Guidelines

This media release was first published by the International Society of Hypertension and is reproduced here with their kind permission.

EDINBURGH, UK – Raised blood pressure (hypertension) is the leading cause of death globally, affecting more than 1.4 billion people and accounting for more than 28,000 deaths each day1,2 – a total that is almost three times the peak rate that has been seen with the current COVID-19 outbreak3.

Today, the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) has released the ISH 2020 Global Hypertension Practice Guidelines to help reduce the burden of this significant health threat affecting people from every country and socio-economic group. Developed by a panel of leading hypertension specialists from across the globe, the ISH Guidelines outline the best approaches to the management of hypertension and provide simple, clear recommendations for health professionals and those affected by hypertension.

Professor Thomas Unger, ISH Secretary and Chair of the Guidelines Committee, stresses that the ISH Guidelines are different from other clinical guidelines that have been published in recent years.

“Most guidelines are complex documents written by groups representing affluent countries or regions, such as the United States, Japan or Europe,” he says. “Low- and middle-income countries often follow the release of these guidelines closely, however achieving the standards set in such guidelines may not always be possible.”

By contrast, the ISH Guidelines are the first guidelines developed specifically for the management of hypertension in all regions of the world, regardless of population or resources. This is particularly important because an estimated 1.04 billion individuals with hypertension (~72% of the global hypertensive population) reside in low- and middle-income countries2.

Professor Alta Schutte, President of the ISH notes that low resource settings face unique challenges in the management of hypertension.

“These regions are often confronted with obstacles including a lack of trained healthcare professionals, unreliable electricity in rural clinics, limited access to basic office BP measurement devices and poor access to affordable high-quality medications.”

The new ISH Guidelines address this concern by tailoring recommendations into ‘essential’ (the minimal standard of care that should be provided) and ‘optimal’ (care that should be provided when resources allow). They have a simple, easy to follow structure to ensure accessibility.

The Guidelines will be published simultaneously on May 6 in the medical journals Hypertension ( and Journal of Hypertension ( at 6 am EDT. The publication will be accompanied by video presentations with guideline co-authors that will be freely available through the ISH YouTube Channel.

About the International Society of Hypertension

Established in 1966, the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) is a worldwide non-profit scientific organization dedicated to scientific innovation and advances in medical care in the field of hypertension.

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