USPSTF Statement Reaffirms 2015 Blood Pressure Screening Guidance

April 27, 2021
Patrick Campbell

The USPSTF has released a recommendation statement related to hypertension screenings among adults without known hypertension.

The latest recommendation from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is reaffirming the organization’s 2015 recommendation related to blood pressure screenings for adults.

The recommendation statement, which was published in JAMA, recommends screening adults 18 years or older with office blood pressure measurement and obtaining blood pressure measurements outside of a clinical setting for diagnostic confirmation before starting treatment. Further supporting their stance, the statement’s authors reported finding no new substantial evidence the could change its recommendation.


“Without screening, most people wouldn’t know they have hypertension and could be at risk for a heart attack or stroke,” said Task Force member John B. Wong, MD, of the Tufts Medical Center, in a statement. “Clinicians can improve their patients’ health by screening all adults for hypertension.”


Published in a separate article within JAMA, investigators also provide clinicians with the evidence base for their latest recommendation. To assess the benefits and harms of screening and confirmatory blood pressure measurements, the Task Force conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the information published within the MEDLINE, PubMed, Cochrane Collaboration Central Registry of Controlled Trials, and CINAHL databases through March 26, 2021.


Of note, the investigators' search included randomized clinical trials and nonrandomized controlled intervention studies for the effectiveness of screening and accuracy studies for screening and confirmatory measurements. Additionally, RCTs, nonrandomized controlled intervention studies, and observational studies were used for potential harms of screening and confirmation.


The statement, “Screening for Hypertension in Adults US Preventive Services Task Force Reaffirmation Recommendation Statement,” and supporting evidence, "Screening for Hypertension in Adults Updated Evidence Report and Systematic Review for the US Preventive Services Task Force,” were published in JAMA.