National Efforts to Improve Blood Pressure Control
Experts release a science advisory, which includes a new approach for the treatment of hypertension.
There are plenty of therapies available to effectively treat hypertension, many of which have been around for decades. Still, less than half of the 78 million Americans with high blood pressure have their condition under control, the consequences of which can be life-threatening. That’s why the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently got together to issue a national advisory, which set new standards for the treatment of hypertension.
This advisory was created by experts in the field and was published in both the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association’s journal, Hypertension. The paper highlighted what authors refer to as an algorithm, which offers step-by-step guidelines for treating patients with high blood pressure.
This algorithm lists optimal medications for the treatment of hypertension as well as lifestyle modifications for blood pressure control, such as exercise, weight loss, and the DASH diet. Depending on a patient’s blood pressure levels, the guidelines recommend starting with a certain combination of the above therapies. They also outline next steps when a patient’s blood pressure is not under control with initial therapy. After all, identifying patients with high blood pressure is often only half the battle, since not all therapies work as well for each patient.
With these new guidelines, experts hope to increase awareness of hypertension, identify patients with high blood pressure more readily and standardize treatments so that patients with hypertension have better control of their condition. But there’s no question that achieving these goals will take some work.
Currently, only 81.5% of U.S. adults with hypertension are aware of their condition, three-fourths of which are receiving treatment. Worse, only half of those treated have their blood pressure under control. Authors are hopeful that with their new guidelines and additional efforts to standardize treatment of hypertension, we can combat hypertension more effectively and improve the heart health of millions of Americans.
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