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Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2005 Jul;3(4):691-704.

Hypertension 2005: an evidence-based approach to diagnosis and treatment - an American perspective.

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  • 1New York University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Midway into the first decade of the 21st century, evidence-based medicine has become the predominant methodology for the education and practice of medicine. In the ascent to this pre-eminent position, evidence-based medicine has challenged several methodologies through which medicine was taught and practiced throughout the 20th century, including the clinical anecdote, the concept that medicine is an art, the notion that the physician acts as the filter through which medical knowledge is individualized for the patient, and to some extent, the application of principles of pathophysiology to guide individual patient care. Indeed, it appears that in many cases, this mechanism-based approach to disease has been replaced by a broad strokes population-based approach based on outcomes research. However, as in the law, evidence is open to interpretation, varying opinion and nuance. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the field of hypertension, which arguably can be credited with developing the field of evidence-based medicine with randomized clinical trials in the early 1960s and early adaptation and promotion of outcomes-based research, beginning with the first Joint National Committee report on prevention, detection, evaluation and treatment of high blood pressure in the 1970s. The purpose of this chapter is to review the evidence in the diagnosis and treatment of essential hypertension, focusing on the following areas. First, use of ambulatory and home blood pressure monitoring as diagnostic and prognostic tools; second, recent clinical trials in the treatment of essential hypertension that form the basis of evidence-based therapeutics; and third, presentation of the key features of the Joint National Committee (JNC) 7, which forms the current basis of treatment for essential hypertension.

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