Thursday, August 25, 2011

Blood pressure guidelines revised in England and Wales

Patients thought to have high blood pressure should have the diagnosis confirmed at home, according to new guidelines. Patients in England and Wales will be offered extra checks using a mobile device that records blood pressure over 24 hours, says the watchdog NICE. A quarter of patients may find visiting a GP stressful, leading to misdiagnosis and being given drugs they do not need. The move could save the NHS £10.5m a year, predictions suggest. High blood pressure (blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or more) affects about a quarter of all adults in the UK. It is a leading risk factor for heart disease or stroke and costs the NHS about £1bn a year in drugs alone. Currently, most patients found to have high blood pressure for the first time are given a formal diagnosis if their blood pressure is raised at two subsequent visits to the doctor. They may then be prescribed medication to lower their blood pressure

No comments: