Feature Article

Hypertension – treating to target

Feature Article

Hypertension – treating to target

Faline S Howes, Mark R Nelson

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Abstract

The choice of antihypertensive agent is determined by its effectiveness, and its indications and contraindications for the individual patient. Whichever agent is used, it is important to treat to goal.

Key Points

  • The decision to treat elevated blood pressure with drugs should be determined by an individual’s high absolute risk of having an adverse cardiovascular event.
  • Not treating to target therefore means that such individuals are at high residual risk.
  • Failure to reach blood pressure targets may be due to the patient, the GP or systems issues.
  • The choice of antihypertensive agent is determined by its effectiveness, and its indications and contraindications for the individual patient.
  • Most patients will require two or more drugs to reach their target blood pressure.
  • Drug therapy should always be accompanied by appropriate advice on behavioural modifications.