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:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Steve Helwig & Associates Insurance & Financial, ... enrichment program, has teamed up with Citizens Opposed to Domestic Abuse in support of ... To support all those victimized by the fear of violence in their own homes, ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , ... February 08, 2016 , ... Remember the old ... , According to Perry A~, author of “Calcium Bentonite Clay” the health benefits ... role in balancing and detoxifying the body. , A former motivational speaker, Perry A~ ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... share this important news! AHCC and the Home Health and Hospice ICD-10 Transition ... designee for official ICD coding guidance and clarifications, to address concerns over the ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... (NADL), only four states in the U.S. require dental technicians to be certified ... in the dental industry, NADL created the “What’s In Your Mouth?” campaign to ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... February 06, 2016 , ... FOR ... AT AORN SURGICAL CONFERENCE & EXPO , WHAT:     , This conference is ... 5000 perioperative nurses in attendance to study the latest evidence-based recommendations and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016 In a historic vote among ... plans to construct a medical cannabis cultivation facility and dispensary on tribal ... of New York as a provider for patients in the ... York as a provider for patients in the state,s Medical ... 29% (34) to approve the project and pursue designation from the ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016 ... the "Knee Reconstruction Devices Market by Product ... Implants), and Geography (U.S., Canada, Eu-5, Japan, Bric, ... 2020" report to their offering. ... of the "Knee Reconstruction Devices Market by ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016  The University of ... announced today that, as part of the development ... of the first hospitals in the U.S. to start ... Muraszko , M.D., U-M,s chair of neurosurgery. ... neurosurgery. --> The BrightMatter technology from ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: