Navigation Links
Team-based approaches needed to fight high blood pressure

Uncontrolled high blood pressure rates continue to grow despite the availability of proven treatments, but collaborative approaches can be effective in fighting this deadly disease, according to a science advisory from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The advisory is a call to action for healthcare systems and providers to work in closer partnership with patients, and it calls for local, regional and national programs that offer coordinated care using multiple resources to achieve better blood pressure control in all patients.

"Despite access to health care, effective therapies that have been available for 50 years, and various education and quality improvement efforts that have been targeted at patients and healthcare providers, achieving success in hypertension control is still a challenge," said Alan S. Go, M.D., Director of the Comprehensive Clinical Research Unit at Kaiser Permanente Northern California and lead author of the advisory.

High blood pressure readings at or above 140/90 millimeters of mercury affects about 1 in 3 Americans and is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Of those who have high blood pressure, also called hypertension, about 75 percent are being treated but only half have it controlled to a healthy level, according to national surveys.

The advisory recommends that healthcare, industry and communities prioritize people with high blood pressure who are receiving treatment but haven't achieved their target blood pressure. The writing group members note that of those with uncontrolled hypertension, nearly 90 percent see a healthcare provider regularly, and 85 percent have health insurance.

"A multi-partner environment may be beneficial to reach people with high blood pressure and ensure that their condition is being treated maximally, and to reduce disparities in high blood pressure control," said Willie Lawrence, M.D., co-author, AHA spokesperson and Chief of Cardiology, Research Medical Center, Kansas City.

According to the advisory, efforts to educate patients and providers have not been sufficient in bringing hypertension under control. Similarly, interventions targeting only physicians have not led to sufficiently consistent and meaningful improvements.

"The tools to control blood pressure have long been available, but hypertension control requires patient and physician involvement within a supportive system," said John G. Harold, M.D., MACC, president of the American College of Cardiology. "We are advocating a team approach that reduces barriers for patients and leverages the power of electronic health records to improve cardiovascular health."

So what works? More recent studies suggest that comprehensive hypertension programs that coordinate care using multiple resources may lead to better overall blood pressure control.

The advisory also provides examples of successful programs that could be emulated. One is a Kaiser Permanente program that increased the proportion of its patients with hypertension with well-controlled blood pressure from 44 percent in 2001 to more than 87 percent in 2011. The program focused on five main elements: creating a system-wide hypertension registry, providing regular feedback on hypertension control rates to providers, implementing and frequently updating an evidence-based treatment algorithm, using single-pill combination therapies and using medical assistants for follow-up blood pressure checks in order to help patients receive necessary treatment adjustments efficiently. Lifestyle changes for patients were strongly recommended as well.

The advisory provides eight principles for developing an effective high blood pressure treatment algorithm (and uses them to provide a usable example of such an algorithm):

1. Base the components and processes on the best available science.
2. Format the algorithm in a manner that is simple to update as new evidence becomes available.
3. Use a feasible, simple implementation strategy.
4. Include a patient version at appropriate scientific and language literacy level.
5. Consider costs of diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment.
6. Use a format easily incorporated within a team approach to health care.
7. Use a format able to be incorporated into electronic health records for clinical decision support.
8. Include a disclaimer to ensure that the algorithm is not used to counter the treating healthcare provider's best clinical judgment.

"The message for large and small practices and systems is: 'Use an approach that includes an evidence-based treatment algorithm and you can improve blood pressure control for your patients,'" said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "Pick from any one of a number of available protocols, or develop your ownjust use an evidence-based one."

Several existing algorithms for hypertension treatment in large healthcare settings are available for public use in the resources and tools section of the Million Hearts initiative Web site at

"Arming healthcare providers, health systems, and communities with proven tools, algorithms, strategies, programs, and other best practices, along with expertise and technical assistance for improving blood pressure awareness, treatment and control is essential to reducing the tremendous burden of cardiovascular risk," said the statement authors.


Contact: Carrie Thacker
American Heart Association

Related medicine news :

1. Scripps Florida scientists awarded nearly $1.5 million to develop new approaches to treat cancer
2. GWU consensus report outlines new approaches for evaluating benefits and risks of obesity drugs
3. NIH awards $7.8 million for innovative HIV vaccine approaches
4. As painkiller overdoses mount, researchers outline effective approaches to curb epidemic
5. Cutting-edge approaches to ensuring biologic drug quality focus of forum on bioassays
6. Jan 31 W-2 1099 Form Mailing Deadline Approaches: EzW2 Software Helps Small Businesses Get Form Ready in Time
7. Common Sense Approaches May Stem ICU Delirium
8. Daily-use HIV prevention approaches prove ineffective among women in NIH study
9. New approaches in treating complicated childhood polycystic kidney disease
10. As Summer Approaches, Experts Offer Tips on Preventing Skin Cancer
11. Imprelis Lawsuit News: Minnesota Property Owners Report Imprelis Tree Damage as June 28 Deadline to Opt Out of Imprelis Lawsuit Settlement Approaches, Reports Wright & Schulte
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... According to Los ... people to overeat are not necessarily caused by real hunger, but instead by ... needs food. He notes that, while many patients are aware that weight loss surgery ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... A record crowd gathered at the ... organized by the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute. , The institute, which is the research ... science and biotechnology leaders for the conference, which focused on ways companies can work ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... A novel class of antimicrobials ... effective in fighting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), one of the major drug-resistant bacterial ... small molecule analogs that target the functions of SecA, a central part of ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... NJ (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... top choice for innovative, patient centered orthopedic care. Led by John Vitolo, ... your injury or chronic condition, the team at Advocare Orthopedic & Sports Medicine ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... specializes in general dentistry out of Glen Ridge, NJ. He has both ... to achieve optimal mastication. He is also an expert in cosmetic dentistry. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015  Precision Image Analysis Inc. (PIA), a ... announce a dramatic expansion of its capabilities as ... its ISO-9001:2008 certification for its Quality Management System, ... protocols and procedures. This expansion enables PIA to ... Core Lab services include design and optimization of ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... November 30, 2015 Mexico Healthcare and Life ... Sciences Report 2015 . --> Pharmaboardroom releases its new ... Latin America , a country of over 122 ... country of over 122 million people. --> It offers ... or life sciences insights into the second largest pharma and healthcare ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015 Elbit Imaging Ltd. ... announced today that it was informed by InSightec Ltd. ("InSightec"), ... (MFDS) has approved its Exablate Neuro system to treat ... --> Insightec,s Exablate Neuro platform is ... combines two technologies: Focused Ultrasound, which is used to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: