A critical appraisal of the guidelines from France, the UK, Europe and the USA for the management of hypertension in adults

Arch Cardiovasc Dis. 2015 Aug-Sep;108(8-9):453-9. doi: 10.1016/j.acvd.2015.05.006. Epub 2015 Jun 22.


Hypertension is the leading cause of death in developed countries; its management is the subject of guidelines that are regularly reviewed and updated. However, the guidelines from France, the UK, Europe and the USA differ. Some recommendations are graded, whereas others are not. All recommendations emphasize the role of alternative methods for clinical measurement of blood pressure, such as ambulatory blood pressure measurement (ABPM) or self-measurement. The UK guideline recommends that the diagnosis of hypertension should be established by ABPM. The USA guideline recommends a target of ≤ 150/90 mmHg for patients aged >60 years. The French guideline recommends that the target blood pressure remains at <140/90 mmHg, with <150 mmHg for patients aged >80 years. Systolic blood pressure between 130 and 139 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure <90 mmHg are recommended for diabetic patients and those with chronic kidney disease. The French Society of Hypertension (SFHTA) guideline is unique in recommending a dedicated consultation to announce the diagnosis to the patient. In the French and European guidelines, diuretics, beta-blockers, calcium antagonists, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers (ARBs) remain indicated as first-line therapy for hypertension; if the target blood pressure is not achieved, they recommend combining two active substances. The UK guideline recommends ACE inhibitors or ARBs as first-line therapy for patients aged <55 years; calcium antagonists are advised for patients aged >55 years and for black patients. The USA guideline advises treating non-black patients, including those with diabetes, with thiazides, calcium antagonists, ACE inhibitors or ARBs; for black patients, including those with diabetes, it recommends thiazide and calcium antagonists.

Keywords: Cible; Guidelines; Hypertension; Recommandations; Target.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory / standards
  • Comorbidity
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence / standards
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / ethnology
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / standards
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Referral and Consultation / standards
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Antihypertensive Agents