CHICAGO — With the number of deaths caused by high blood pressure on the rise in the U.S., the American Medical Assoc. (AMA) is joining the American Heart Assoc. (AHA) to increase public awareness of this ‘silent killer.’ In conjunction with World Hypertension Day earlier this week, the AMA is supporting the Know Your Numbers campaign to encourage more patients to monitor their blood-pressure levels and take the necessary steps to get their high blood pressure — or hypertension — under control.
“In addition to its obvious devastating impact on patients and their families, heart disease has a massive financial ripple effect across the healthcare system. On World Hypertension Day, the AMA remains keenly focused on the millions of Americans who have uncontrolled hypertension,” said AMA President Dr. Steven Stack. “By empowering more patients to monitor and control their blood pressure, we will help improve health outcomes for patients and reduce healthcare costs.”
Last November, the AHA and AMA announced the launch of a new national campaign, Target: BP, aimed at addressing the growing burden of high blood pressure in the U.S. The organizations will soon begin the next phase of this joint initiative to ensure that physician practices and health systems across the country are taking the necessary steps to improve blood-pressure-control rates within their communities.
Only half of the approximately 80 million American adults with high blood pressure have it under control, despite the fact that it can usually be easily treated. And nearly 20% of all people with high blood pressure in the U.S. don’t know they have the symptomless condition and are at higher risk for heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. 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.