Population impact of the 2017 ACC/AHA guidelines compared with the 2013 ESH/ESC guidelines for hypertension management

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Abstract

Background

The 2017 ACC/AHA guidelines on hypertension management recommend the introduction of antihypertensive treatment for patients with new stage 1 hypertension thresholds (130–139/80–89 mm Hg) and with a cardiovascular disease or related condition. We compared the Swiss population and economic impact of antihypertensive treatment of the 2017 ACC/AHA guidelines with the 2013 European guidelines.

Methods

Analyses were based on 4438 participants (aged 45–85 years; 2448 women) of the CoLaus|PsyCoLaus study recruited between 2014-2017. Participants eligible for antihypertensive treatment according to the 2017 ACC/AHA and 2013 European guidelines were sex and age standardised using the Swiss population for 2016. In addition, we estimated the population-wide annual costs of antihypertensive treatment.

Results

Individuals eligible for antihypertensive treatment were 40.3% (95% confidence interval 38.5–42.1) and 31.3% (29.7–32.9) according to the 2017 ACC/AHA and 2013 European guidelines, respectively. That difference would translate into approximately 250,000 additional individuals eligible for antihypertensive treatment, corresponding to an additional annual cost of 72.5 million CHF (63.0 million EUR).

Conclusion

The 2017 ACC/AHA guidelines on the management of hypertension substantially increase the number of individuals eligible for antihypertensive treatment compared to the 2013 European guidelines. While implementation of the 2017 ACC/AHA guidelines is expected to lead to cost reduction by preventing cardiovascular diseases, that reduction might be mitigated by the costs incurred by antihypertensive treatments in a larger proportion of the population.

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