Navigation Links
High Blood Pressure Still Slipping Past Doctors
Date:5/12/2008

Study finds little more than half of patients were checked, only 39% met treatment goals

MONDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- The dangers of high blood pressure are well-known, but a new study finds a lack of routine blood pressure screening in doctor's offices and a low percentage of hypertension patients actually meeting their blood pressure goals after diagnosis.

The Stanford University School of Medicine study, published in the May issue of Hypertension, found that in the offices of private U.S. physicians:

  • Blood pressure was taken in only 56 percent of all patient visits, and in 93 percent of visits by patients diagnosed with hypertension.
  • Only 39 percent of patients being treated for hypertension were at the recommended blood pressure levels.
  • Only 20 percent of hypertensive patients who also have diabetes or kidney disease had their blood pressure controlled.

"Doctors should be screening more routinely during all office visits," study co-author Dr. Randall Stafford, an associate professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, said in a prepared statement. "Dual medication treatment should be seen as standard therapy, and intensive lifestyle changes should be encouraged."

The study analyzed data from a federal 2003-04 survey of services performed in offices of private U.S. physicians. It noted such details as whether the blood pressure cuff was brought out, whether appropriate medications were prescribed, and whether treatment achieved its goal.

High blood pressure affects more than 65 million people in the United States and is one of the most important and preventable risk factors for cardiovascular disease, strokes and kidney disease. High blood pressure, often called "the silent killer," can damage one's body for years before actual symptoms develop.

This lack of symptoms may be a major reason for poor quality of care, researchers said.

"This is a problem that spans much of preventive medicine," Stafford said. "The treatment itself doesn't make patients feel better. If somebody has asthma, they know that if they stop taking medication, they're going to start wheezing. With blood pressure medicines, patients don't feel any different."

Without this noticeable change, many patients stop following the doctor's orders or fail to return for follow-up care.

"We know many patients don't take the medications they were prescribed for the doses that were prescribed nor for the duration that was prescribed," lead author Dr. Jun Ma, an associate staff scientist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute, said in a prepared statement.

Increasing routine blood pressure screenings, even in specialists' offices, could be the first step to improving care, Stafford said.

"Many physicians in specialized practice appear to feel they don't need to measure blood pressure," he said. The thinking goes, "'I'm a dermatologist, so I don't need to screen for high blood pressure.' But because there's a high likelihood of high blood pressure getting missed, we need to take advantage of all opportunities for screening."

Once a doctor diagnoses someone with high blood pressure, the physician must clearly explain the necessary treatments and strongly encourage lifestyle changes.

"Physicians may need to tell patients that it's likely to take two or more medications to get blood pressure under control," Stafford said. "They also need to use a comprehensive strategy to attack high blood pressure that includes recommended changes in lifestyle: weight loss, reduction in sodium, a plant-based diet, increases in physical activity. Both patients and physicians need to take advantage of all available strategies."

More information

The American Heart Association has more about high blood pressure.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: Stanford University School of Medicine, news release, May 2008


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Omron Makes Blood Pressure Monitoring Easy for Women at Any Stage of Life, Including Pregnancy
2. NxStage Announces Supply Agreement With Kawasumi Laboratories for Blood Tubing Sets
3. High Blood Sugar Tied to Pregnancy Complications
4. Double duty: Loss of protective heart failure protein causes high blood pressure
5. Simple Steps Lead to Better Blood Pressure Control
6. Blood pressure killing the worlds workers while banks and drug firms stand idle
7. High blood pressure still sneaking past doctors, Stanford study shows
8. Mouse Adult Stem Cells Developed into Heart and Blood Cells
9. Rotten eggs in the blood
10. Northfield Laboratories Inc. Comments on Article and Editorial on Hemoglobin-Based Blood Substitutes to be Published in May 21 JAMA
11. Experimental Blood Substitutes Unsafe, Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and ... main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Birmingham, Lake Orion, Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... ... ... their direction with respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. ... for tolerable intercourse but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to ... Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to ... fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Aliso Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... preset to fit their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film ... all fully customizable and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors ... Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green ... hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Research ... World Market for Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their ... Market for Companion Diagnostics The World Market ... and personalized medicine diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes ... Test Market (In Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  MedSource announced today that it has selected ... of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates MedSource,s commitment ... clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic data capture ... as the EDC platform of choice in exchange ... has long been a preferred EDC platform by ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that ... PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for ... clearance, Roche is the first IVD company in the ... risk assessment and management. PCT is a ... in blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: