The objective of this study was to investigate physicians' awareness and use of the Japanese Society of Hypertension (JSH) Guidelines for the Management of Hypertension (JSH2004 and JSH2009), and determine what changes need to be implemented in the future. A questionnaire was used to survey physicians' awareness and their use of JSH2004 and JSH2009. Physicians attending educational seminars on hypertension that were held during the months after the publication of JSH2009 (January-April 2009) were asked to participate in the survey. Of the 5795 respondents, 88% were aware of the JSH2009 publication. Furthermore, physicians were also aware of JSH2004, with about 90% using JSH2004 in their practice. A hypertension blood pressure (BP) reference value of 140/90 mm Hg was used by 55% in office BP, whereas 31% used 135/85 mm Hg for home BP. Target BP levels used by physicians were 130/80 mm Hg for patients with diabetes or kidney disease (52%) and for elderly patients with diabetes or kidney disease (45%), whereas 140/90 mm Hg was used for elderly patients with low cardiovascular disease risk (44%) and for patients with chronic-phase stroke (27%). Answers to the questionnaire varied among physicians according to sex, age, workplace and specialty. The majority of the participating Japanese physicians were familiar with both JSH2004 and JSH2009, with many following the guidelines in their practice. However, some physicians use different reference values for hypertension and target BP levels. Physicians' adherence to and use of the guidelines should be regularly examined and promoted.
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