Cardiovascular disease

The guideline development group for the diagnosis and pharmacological treatment of hypertension in adults

WHO guidelines dealing specifically with raised blood pressure were last published 20 years ago- in 1999 – and are now outdated. In 2007, comprehensive guidelines on cardiovascular risk included some recommendations on hypertension but these also need revision and updating in the light of new evidence and practice.

In the past decade, WHO has included diagnosis and management of hypertension in a total cardiovascular risk approach as part of the WHO Package of Essential NCD interventions 2007,2010 and 2013 (PEN). However, this approach has not included the most recent advances in hypertension diagnostic classification and pharmacological treatment.

The WHO 13th Global Programme of Work (GPW) has established a target requiring the ‘reduction of raised blood pressure by 20%’ and the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) index has also set ‘effective coverage of controlled hypertension’ as an indicator. Although there are a considerable number of national guidelines dealing with hypertension, thresholds for treatment and other management decisions vary between guidelines.

Given this context, it is timely and appropriate for WHO to develop updated global guidelines for the diagnosis and pharmacologic treatment of hypertension in adults.

The goals and objectives of these guidelines are presented below:

Overall goal:

  • To provide the most current and relevant evidence-based global guidance for diagnosis and management of hypertension

Specific objectives:

  • to assess the evidence on and agree on thresholds for pharmacological management of hypertensions
  • to assess the evidence for, and agree on, appropriate pharmacological management of hypertension


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Guideline Development Groups provide technical and/or normative advice and recommendations to WHO. Participation in a Guideline Development Group convened by WHO does not necessarily mean that the views expressed by the expert concerned are shared by WHO and/or represent the decisions or stated policy of WHO.

The list of participating experts, a summary of relevant interests disclosed by such experts, and any appropriate mitigation measures taken by WHO relating to the management of conflicts of interest, will be reported publically in accordance with WHO policies.


List of participants and biographies


  • Dr Shrish Naresh Acharya
    Consultant Physician, Colonial War Memorial Hospital, Fiji
  • Dr Kenneth Connell
    - Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology, The UWI, Cave Hill Campus
    - President, Heart & Stroke Foundation Barbados
    - Governor of the American College of Physicians (ACP) Caribbean Chapter
    - Consultant Internist – Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Barbados
    - US CDC International Consultant- Global HEARTS Programme - Hypertension
    - Chairman - Barbados Drug Formulary Committee
    - Member - Barbados Medical Council
  • Dr Marie Therese Cooney
    Department of cardiology, Adelaide Meath Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  • Dr Donald DiPette
    Distinguished Health Sciences Professor, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Columbia, S.C., USA
  • Dr Thomas A. Gaziano
    Assistant Professor, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, United States of America
  • Dr Agaba Gidio
    Mulago National Referral Hospital Kampala Uganda
  • Dr Vilma Irazola
    Medical Doctor, Instituto de Efectividad Clinica y Sanitaria (IECS); Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy (IECS), Argentina
  • Dr Unab I. Khan
    Associate Professor and Chair, Dept. of Family Medicine, The Aga Khan University Medical College, Pakistan
  • Professor Patricio Lopez Jaramillo
    Medical Director of Research, Development and Technological Innovation, Clinical Director of Metabolic Syndrome, Prediabetes and Diabetes, Santander, Colombia
  • Dr Andrew Moran
    Senior Consultant, Global Hypertension Control, Resolve to Save Lives, and Associate Professor of Medicine, Columbia University, USA
  • Professor Baridalyne Nongkyrnrih
    All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
  • Professor Brian Rayner
    Emeritus Professor and Senior Scholar, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Professor K. Srinath Reddy
    President, Public Health Foundation of India
  • Dr Nizal Sarrafzadegan
    Professor of Medicine/Cardiology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran & Affiliate Professor, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, Director of Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Institute, WHO Collaborating Center, Iran
  • Professor Apichard Sukonthasarn
    Cardiac specialist and head of Medicine Department, Bangkok Hospital Chiang Ma, Thailand
  • Dr Angela M. Thompson-Paul
    LCDR and Epidemiologist, U.S. Public Health Service and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch, USA
  • Dr Paul K. Whelton
    Show Chwan Professor of Global Public Health, Tulane University, USA
  • Professor Jing Yu
    Lanzhou University Second Hospital, China