Confirmed: USPSTF once again recommends hypertension screening for all adults

After performing an in-depth analysis of the latest evidence, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has officially reaffirmed its recommendation that all adults undergo hypertension screening.

“Hypertension is a prevalent condition, affects approximately 45% of the adult U.S. population and is the most commonly diagnosed condition at outpatient office visits,” the group wrote in its final recommendation. “Hypertension is a major contributing risk factor for heart failure, myocardial infarction, stroke and chronic kidney disease.”

The USPSTF first issued an “A” recommendation for such screening back in 1996, revisiting the subject numerous times in the last 25 years. Before this latest analysis, the most recent reaffirmation was published in 2015.

Back in June 2020, the USPSTF issued a draft of its updated recommendation, leaving it open for public comment for 30 days. Multiple parties asked for clarification about the most accurate methods for measuring a patient’s blood pressure; language was added to the final document as a response to these requests.

The final recommendation statement is available in JAMA and on the USPSTF website.

For additional context, a full evidence report has also been published in JAMA. The authors noted that screening with office-based blood pressure equipment has “had major accuracy limitations, including misdiagnosis.” However, they added, “direct harms of measurement were minimal.”

“Research is needed to determine optimal screening and confirmatory algorithms for clinical practice,” the group concluded.