News | Hypertension | November 11, 2015

AHA, AMA Call for Higher Priority on Blood Pressure Control

Evidence shows uncontrolled high blood pressure contributes to major health issues; latest research supports lower blood pressure targets to improve heart health

high blood pressure, Target BP, AMA, AHA, American Heart Association, American Medical Association

November 11, 2015 — Two of the country’s preeminent health organizations, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Medical Association (AMA), announced a new nationwide initiative aimed at addressing the growing burden of high blood pressure in the United States.

Target: BP will support physicians and care teams in helping their patients with high blood pressure reach a blood pressure goal of lower than 140/90 mm Hg, based on current AHA guidelines.

Although Target: BP is the first major collaborative initiative between the AHA and AMA, both organizations have long recognized high blood pressure as a major health threat. Both already have a number of practice- and community-based initiatives and online tools that are helping physicians improve blood pressure control among their patients and helping people understand and improve their high blood pressure. They’ll now synergize these efforts into a campaign that will further assist both providers and patients by enhancing high blood pressure awareness, understanding and management.

As part of Target: BP, hospitals, medical practices, practitioners and health services organizations will work to raise awareness about high blood pressure and commit to high levels of control in their patient populations. Participants will work with the latest AHA guidelines on blood pressure, aiming for readings of lower than 140/90 mm Hg for each patient, with goals adjusted as new data drives any guideline revisions in the future. AHA and AMA will provide these groups with tools and resources, including the AHA/ACC/CDC Hypertension Treatment Algorithm, for achieving this goal and will recognize those who attain high levels of control.

Even prior to the official launch, more than 50 healthcare systems or clinics serving nearly 18 million people quickly committed to participate in Target: BP, and additional ones are poised to join.

One in three American adults — about 80 million people — has high blood pressure and that number is steadily climbing, despite the fact that high blood pressure can usually be easily treated. There is a substantial body of evidence showing that high blood pressure is a contributing factor to many major health conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and other disease consequences.

Data from the landmark Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) supports recommendations for keeping blood pressure low. The final results of SPRINT are being presented this week at the AHA’s Scientific Sessions, but previously reported preliminary findings indicated that reducing systolic blood pressure to 120 mm Hg among study participants markedly reduced the combined rate of having a heart attack, acute coronary syndrome, heart failure or stroke and reduced mortality. The study was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and examined more than 9,300 people.

AHA President Mark Creager, M.D., said the SPRINT data is being systematically examined by the AHA/ACC Hypertension Guideline Writing Committee in consideration of any guideline revisions.

 “The SPRINT results underscore our long-standing position to detect and aggressively treat people with high blood pressure,” said Creager, director of the Heart and Vascular Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire “Currently, only about half of Americans with high blood pressure are achieving our recommended blood pressure reading of below 140/90 mm Hg. With Target: BP, we’ll equip healthcare providers and their patients with information and tools, to help keep blood pressure under control. By controlling blood pressure, we can potentially prevent progression to other serious threats to heart and brain health.”

 “For several years, the AMA has been keenly focused on the millions of Americans who have uncontrolled hypertension,” said AMA President Steven J. Stack, M.D. “This new collaboration will significantly build on the work we’ve already begun to improve cardiovascular health. As an emergency physician, I’ve seen first-hand the devastating impact of heart disease and I’m personally proud to be a part of a national effort that will not only save lives but help people live healthier and happier lives.”

 While fewer Americans are dying from heart disease and stroke, deaths caused by high blood pressure are on the rise, increasing 13 percent between 2001 and 2011. High blood pressure is also associated with significant economic impact, costing Americans an estimated $46 billion annually in healthcare services, medications and missed days of work

“We recognize the threat of uncontrolled blood pressure and certainly need to do a better job in helping our patients achieve blood pressure targets with lifestyle modifications as well as ideal medical therapy,” said Daniel Simon, M.D., division chief of cardiovascular medicine at UH Case Medical Center and president of the Harrington Heart and Vascular Institute at University Hospitals in northeast Ohio, an early adopter of the initiative. “Bringing evidence-based treatment approaches to our practices through Target: BP is a simple, effective way to help us renew our focus on blood pressure and bring more patients to their idea goal.”

For more information:

Related Content

American Heart Association Announces New Hypertension Center Certification
News | Hypertension | July 05, 2018
Physician practices now have access to new resources to improve their standard of quality care for hypertension...
YMCA and American Heart Association Partner to Improve Blood Pressure Control
News | Hypertension | April 05, 2018
YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) and the American Heart Association (AHA) are combining efforts to help more people better...
Higi Implementing New ACC/AHA Blood Pressure Guidelines at 11,000 North American Stations
News | Hypertension | March 28, 2018
Population health enablement company Higi announced their commitment to implement the 2017 American College of...
Petaluma Health Center Wins 2017 HIMSS Davies Award for Hypertension Control Program
News | Hypertension | February 16, 2018
February 16, 2018 — California’s Petaluma Health Center (PHC) was recently awarded a 2017 Healthcare Information and
SPRINT Trial Data Support New AHA/ACC Hypertension Guidelines
News | Hypertension | November 16, 2017
Findings from a landmark study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) support a key component of the new...
Marijuana Associated With Three-Fold Risk of Death From Hypertension
News | Hypertension | September 14, 2017
Marijuana use is associated with a three-fold risk of death from hypertension, according to research published recently...
Text Messaging Could Help Tackle High Blood Pressure in At-Risk Patients

Image courtesy of Michigan Medicine

News | Hypertension | September 06, 2017
A new National Institutes of Health-funded hypertension trial will examine the possibility of using an emergency...
MobiusHD Device Shows Promise in Treatment of Resistant Hypertension
News | Hypertension | August 30, 2017
Vascular Dynamics Inc. announced interim results of the company’s first-in-human trial of its MobiusHD implant...
The Vascular Dynamics MobiusHD device enhances the carotid baroreceptors to reduce resistant hypertension.
News | Hypertension | August 15, 2017
Aug. 15, 2017 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Vascular Dynamics Inc.
Bayer Now Enrolling Patients for Global Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Study
News | Hypertension | July 05, 2017
Bayer has enrolled the first patient in a global Phase IV study assessing the clinical effects of riociguat in patients...
Overlay Init