The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has released new clinical practice guidelines for the prevention, detection and treatment of high blood pressure. The guidelines, which were approved by the coordinating committee of the NHLBI's National High Blood Pressure Education Program, feature altered blood pressure categories, including a new "prehypertension" level that covers about 22% of American adults or about 45 million persons. The new guidelines, which appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association (vol. 289, no. 19), also streamline the steps by which doctors diagnose and treat patients, and recommend the use of diuretics as part of the drug treatment plan for high blood pressure in most patients.
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