Introduction: The American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) revised the thresholds for the definition and treatment of hypertension that was recommended by the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC 7) while the 2018 European Society of Cardiology/European Society of Hypertension (ESC/ESH) Guidelines for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure retained their previous classification but revised the recommendations for diagnosis and treatment. The impact of these changes in our setting is uncertain. This study aims to compare the prevalence of hypertension using the three proposed criteria in a primary preventive setting.
Method: This was a cross-sectional analytical study using the data at the Primary Preventive Cardiology Clinic of the Philippine Heart Center from January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2017.
Results: There were 2,082 patients in this study. The mean age was 57.1 + 10.9 years with a female predominance (72.5%). Most of the patients were married (67.3%, 1401) and unemployed (67.1%, 1398). Comorbid illnesses include dyslipidemia (48.2%) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (20.3%). The prevalence of hypertension using the JNC 7 and the 2018 ESC/ESH blood pressure (BP) classification was 56% (n=1167). When the 2017 ACC/AHA BP classification was applied, there was a significant increase in the prevalence of hypertension to 80.3% (n=1671) (p <0.001) demonstrating an absolute increase of +24.2%.
Conclusion: The findings in our study showed a high prevalence of hypertension which further increased when the 2017 ACC/AHA BP classification was applied This can impose a significant public health burden that needs to be addressed to prevent or decrease hypertension-related complications. Use of the new guidelines may affect diagnosis and treatment of hypertension with potential cost implications.