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Extension Education for Blood Pressure advice!

As an extension education effort the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), has launched a $3.7 million three year project to improve high blood pressure.

The education would be given by 150 physicians in 34 states// and Washington, DC, who have been trained to educate other physicians in their communities. The aim of this initiative is to help doctors and patients prevent and better treat high blood pressure.

The Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT) is the predecessor of this programme and is being implemented in collaboration with the National High Blood Pressure Education Program (NHBPEP).

ALLHAT, the largest clinical trial of hypertension treatment ever conducted, is based at The University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston.

Putting the purpose of this programme in perspective ALLHAT principal investigator Barry R. Davis, M.D., Ph.D., professor of biostatistics and director of the Coordinating Center for Clinical Trials at the UT School of Public Health said,” The key is to get the results out to the medical community and to patients with high blood pressure, so both can understand and apply the benefits of being on a diuretic and controlling hypertension."

Besides, live interactive educational sessions with their physician peers, educators are asked to make at least one presentation per month. For this initiative each educator receives training, presentation slides and handouts, and materials such as posters and brochures for clinicians to use in their offices. The educators expect to reach nearly 30,000 physicians by Sept. 2006.

As an addition to the campaign, it also provides materials to encourage patients to ask their health care providers about their blood pressure control and the medicines they take.

An estimated 65 million American adults - nearly one in three - have high blood pressure.

As t he optimism reflected in Davis’ voice says it all that ALLHAT's landmark findings will have a great impact beyond improving cardiovascular health.

Emphasizing on the simplicity and adaptability of the programme said Jeffrey Cutler, MD, NHLBI senior advisor and ALLHAT project director said, “Guidelines were simplified and strengthened to emphasize the most effective ways to control blood pressure - starting with lifestyle changes and including diuretics when medication is needed,"

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