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Hypertension: Diagnosis and treatment

Dr Alister McNeish explains diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure, which is major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Dr Alister McNeish continues to look at hypertension explaining how blood pressure is measured, values that are considered normal, and what can be done to regulate it.

The ACD strategy

In the UK, hypertension in adults is normally treated by applying the National Institute for Health Care and Excellence (NICE) ACD strategy (part of Clinical Guidance 127). The ACD strategy defines an approach for using different medications: ACE inhibitor (A), a calcium channel blocker (C) and a diuretic (D – normally a thiazide-like diuretic) either separately or in combination.

The ACD strategy can be broken down into three steps:

Step 1: A
Step 2: A+C
Step 3: A+C+D
Step 4: for resistant hypertension, in addition to A+C+D, another diuretic, an alpha blocker or a beta blocker would be considered, in addition to obtaining help from a specialist.

You can download the Week 3 supplement, which contains additional images and descriptions to help you understand the topics covered in this video.

British Heart Foundation resources

Find out more in the following, optional, video High blood pressure and heart disease; one of a series, produced by the British Heart Foundation Risking it: Fighting against risk factors in coronary heart disease.

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Heart Health: A Beginner's Guide to Cardiovascular Disease

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