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Many Doctors Don't Know Blood Pressure Guidelines
Date:9/19/2008

sicians, but that is still an open question, Ravenell said. It would be an interesting study to see if the same scenario with white men produced the same results, he added.

There is a lesson in the study for doctors, he said. The particular lesson is that physicians need to take a very good look at their own practices to make sure they are appropriately applying the guidelines to all patients, but particularly to black men, who are at high risk of death from hypertension, Ravenell said.

One lesson for people who are seen by the doctors is that people need to be aware of the guidelines, said Dr. Daniel Jones, vice chancellor for health affairs at the University of Mississippi, and a past president of the American Heart Association.

Another lesson is that they should know their blood pressure numbers and should speak up if the readings indicate high blood pressure, he said. Patients can influence doctors' choices by initiating discussions, Jones said.

National health surveys show that Americans are becoming more aware of the dangers of high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke, and that it can be controlled by drug therapy, Jones said.

More information

Learn about high blood pressure and its treatment from the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.



SOURCES: Joseph Ravenell, M.D., assistant professor, medicine, New York University; Daniel Jones, M.D., vice chancellor, health affairs, University of Mississippi, Jackson; Sept. 19, 2008, American Heart Association's Council for High Blood Pressure Research, Atlanta


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