More Guideline Controversy: Blood Pressure Expert Decries 'Political Correctness'

Feb 3 2014, 3:58pm CST | by

More Guideline Controversy: Blood Pressure Expert Decries 'Political Correctness'

Now add “political correctness” to the long list of criticisms directed against the recent publication of new and updated cardiovascular guidelines. One leading hypertension expert writes that the authors of the recent AHA/ACC/CDC Science Advisory on blood pressure control were chosen not for their expertise but for political expediency.

Last year the NIH said it would no longer take responsibility for coordinating and publishing its well-established and highly influential cardiovascular guidelines. The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology took over this responsibility, but the transition has been filled with controversy and confusion. In November the AHA and the ACC released 4 major cardiovascular guidelines, but one of the most eagerly-anticipated guidelines, the hypertension guideline, was conspicuous by its absence. As a stopgap measure the AHA and the ACC, along with the CDC, released the Science Advisory. This advisory is the subject of the new charge of political correctness. (Subsequently the authors of the original NIH hypertension group published their guideline in JAMA  under their own auspices. But, to add to the confusion, a “minority report” from several of the authors expressed disagreement with one major aspect of the guideline.)

Franz Messerli, the director of the hypertension program at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City, writes in the journal Hypertension that the 7 authors of the AHA/ACC/CDC advisory are not experts in hypertension. The authors are neither hypertension specialists who have written extensively about the disease, nor have they served on the advisory board of hypertension journals. By contrast, according to Messerli, the authors of the previous NIH-supported hypertension guideline had “extensively published on hypertensive cardiovascular disease ” and were indeed “ true experts displaying skills or knowledge to guide other physicians in detection, evaluation and treatment of patients with hypertension.” Messerli concludes:

On a positive note, compared to the JNC 7 authors, the AHA/ACC/CDC Science Advisory have a much shorter list of conflict of interests and consist of a more diversified group of people. We are not privileged to have access to the selection criteria for the authors of these guidelines. Clearly they must have been other than expertise in hypertensive cardiovascular disease, i.e. “special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience”.

In a response, the presidents of the AHA and the ACC, Mariell Jessup and John Harold, write:

…the writing group members were invited, selected not for purposes of “political correctness,” as Dr. Messerli asserts, but rather to include individuals with credentials and experience, not only in in primary care and cardiology, but also in population health and clinical quality improvement in medical care delivery systems. These persons truly qualify as experts in one or more of these areas, and they represent a diversity of medical specialty, professional setting, gender, and, although not apparent by name alone, racial/ethnic diversity. And as noted by Dr. Messerli, the writing group had few conflicts of interest. The terms “guideline” and “expert” panel were intentionally avoided. Guidelines provide the science base for what needs to be done. This advisory was meant to provide guidance on how to get it done.

They also note that the AHA and the ACC are “in the planning stages” for developing a more comprehensive expert hypertension guideline.

In an interview Messerli said that the composition of the authors of the JAMA hypertension guideline “seems to be acceptable.”

Comment: A careful reading of the AHA/ACC response leads to the inevitable conclusion that Jessup and Harold are not actually disagreeing with Messerli but are instead offering a different interpretation of the same simple and inarguable set of facts. Messerli views these facts as evidence of “political correctness” and therefore, presumably, a bad thing. Jessup and Harold look at the same set of facts and see diversity and inclusiveness, presumably a good thing.

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

UN warns of worsening food crisis in Somalia
United Nations, Nov 1 (IANS) A UN food agency Friday warned that poor rains in Somalia may worsen the country's food crisis, a spokesperson said.
 
 
Canada suspends issuance of visas to Ebola-hit African countries
Ottawa, Nov 1 (IANS) Canada has suspended issuance of visas to residents of West African countries with "widespread and persistent-intense transmission" of Ebola virus disease, a media report said Friday.
 
 
Chinese unmanned lunar orbiter returns home
Beijing, Nov 1 (IANS) China succeeded Saturday in the world's first mission to the Moon and back, becoming the third nation to do so after the former Soviet Union and the US.
 
 
China pledges $81 mn financial assistance for Afghanistan
Beijing, Oct 31 (IANS) China Friday pledged to provide non-reimbursable assistance of 500 million yuan (about 81 million dollars) to Afghanistan this year at an international meeting on Afghanistan held here.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

BCCI demands multi-million dollar settlement from WICB
Bridgetown (Barbados), Nov 1 (IANS/CMC) The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) will have to cough up nearly $42 million in order to stave off a lawsuit from the Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI), stemming from...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Garth Brooks feels like 'arm candy'
Garth Brooks feels like Trisha Yearwood's ''arm candy.'' The country singer, who has been married to the 'Woman Before Me' hitmaker for 19 years, claims she is much more popular with their fans. The 52-year-old star,...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kourtney Kardashian is so proud of Kendall Jenner
Kourtney Kardashian says Kendall Jenner is her ''favorite family member.'' The 35-year-old reality TV star, who is set to give birth to her third child with Scott Disick in December, is extremely proud of her 18-year-...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
German Bundesliga standings
Berlin, Nov 1 (IANS) Following are the German Bundesliga standings after Friday's match (tabulated under matches played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points), according to Xinhua. Bayern Munich...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Indian appointed to UN peacekeeping panel
United Nations, Nov 1 (IANS) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has appointed Abhijit Guha, a retired Indian Army Lieutenant General, to a high-level panel to assess UN peace operations. Announcing the formation of the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Kim Kardashian wants to loose 10lb
Los Angeles, Nov 1 (IANS) Reality TV star Kim Kardashian, who shed weight after the birth of her daughter last year, is keen to loose 10lb (about 4.5 kg) more. She talked about loosing weight while talking to Grazia...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
US, EU to meet Iran over nuke talks
Washington, Nov 1 (IANS) US Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Oman early next month for meetings with his Iranian and EU counterparts to push for a comprehensive deal over Tehran's nuclear programme by Nov...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Amanda Bynes to remain under conservatorship
Amanda Bynes is set to remain under a conservatorship. A lawyer claiming to represent the 28-year-old actress, who was released from a psychiatric treatment facility in Pasadena, California on Thursday (10.30.14) after...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Ben Affleck broke Jennifer Lopez's heart
Jennifer Lopez says Ben Affleck was the first guy who broke her heart. The 'Booty' hitmaker, who got divorced twice before she started dating the 'Gone Girl' actor in 2002, was completely devastated when they ended...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Alicia Key's son is ready to be a big brother
Alicia Keys' son is ''so ready'' to be a big brother. The 33-year-old singer and husband Swizz Beatz are set to welcome their second child into the world on New Year's Eve (12.31.14) and says their four-year-old Egypt...
Read more on Celebrity Balla