Hypertension Canada's 2020 Evidence Review and Guidelines for the Management of Resistant Hypertension

Can J Cardiol. 2020 May;36(5):625-634. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2020.02.083.


We present Hypertension Canada's inaugural evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and management of resistant hypertension. Hypertension is present in 21% of the Canadian population, and among those with hypertension, resistant hypertension has an estimated prevalence from 10% to 30%. This subgroup of hypertensive individuals is important, because resistant hypertension portends a high cardiovascular risk. Because of its importance, Hypertension Canada formed a Guidelines Committee to conduct a review of the evidence and develop recommendations for the diagnosis and management of resistant hypertension. The Hypertension Canada Guidelines Committee recommends that patients with blood pressure above target, despite use of 3 or more blood pressure-lowering drugs at optimal doses, preferably including a diuretic, be identified as those with apparent resistant hypertension. Patients identified with apparent resistant hypertension should be assessed for white coat effect, nonadherence, and therapeutic inertia, investigated for secondary hypertension, and referred to a provider with expertise in hypertension. There is no randomized controlled trial evidence for better cardiovascular outcomes with any class of antihypertensive agent at this time, so recommendations for a preferred drug class cannot be made. Furthermore, we provide a summary of the current evidence concerning the role of device therapy in the management of resistant hypertension. We will continue updating the guidelines as additional high-quality evidence with relevance to daily practice becomes available.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline