AHA High Blood Pressure Toolkit

13 SPECIAL PATIENT GROUPS AND EMERGENCIES The guideline recommends special attention to specific patient groups. Recommendations include: Black adults a Initial antihypertensive treatment should include a thiazide-type diuretic or a calcium- channel blocker. Two or more antihypertensive medications are especially recommended to achieve a BP target of less than 130/80 mm Hg . Pregnant women Antihypertensive medication should be transitioned to methyldopa, nifedipine and/ or labetalol during pregnancy. ACE inhibitors, ARBs or direct renin inhibitors should not be used during pregnancy. Persons 65 years and older b For patients with an average systolic BP of 130 mm Hg or higher, the treatment goal should be a systolic BP of less than 130 mm Hg. For patients with hypertension and a high burden of comorbidity and limited life expectancy, clinical judgment, patient preferences and a team-based approach should be used to assess risk/benefit for decisions regarding intensity of BP lowering and choice of antihypertensive medications. a Includes adults with diabetes mellitus but not heart failure or chronic kidney disease. b Noninstitutionalized ambulatory community-dwelling persons. Read the full guidelines for instructions on persons undergoing surgical procedures. Hypertensive Crises: Emergencies and Urgencies Hypertensive emergencies are defined as severe elevation of BP (greater than 180/120 mm Hg) associated with evidence of new or worsening target organ damage. In such cases, BP must be immediately reduced to prevent or limit further damage. Hypertensive urgencies are defined as severe elevation of BP (greater than 180/120 mm Hg) in otherwise stable patients without acute or impending change in target organ damage or dysfunction. The guideline provides an algorithm for diagnosing and managing a hypertensive crisis , as well as a list of intravenous antihypertensive drugs for treating hypertensive emergencies. Intravenous Antihypertensive Drugs for Treatment of Hypertensive Emergencies BLOOD PRESSURE HIGHER THAN 180/120 mm Hg IS A CRISIS.