HCN News & Notes

On World Hypertension Day, AMA Urges Patients to Know Their Numbers

CHICAGO — With one in three American adults living with high blood pressure and at increased risk of heart attack and stroke, 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 today, May 17, 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.

“Heart disease not only has a devastating impact on patients and their families, but it also creates an enormous financial ripple effect across the entire healthcare system,” said AMA President Dr. Andrew Gurman. “On World Hypertension Day, the AMA continues to focus on the millions of Americans who have uncontrolled hypertension. We know that, by empowering more patients to monitor and control their blood pressure, we will help improve health outcomes for patients and reduce healthcare costs.”

In 2016, the AMA and AHA launched the Target: BP initiative to address the growing burden of high blood pressure in the U.S. The initiative aims to reduce the number of Americans who die from heart attacks and strokes by urging physician practices, health systems, and patients to prioritize blood-pressure control and increase the national blood-pressure-control rate from 54{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} to 70{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} or higher. Evidence shows that a 10{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} increase in the number of people treated for hypertension would prevent 14,000 deaths each year — a greater impact than any other clinical intervention.

Among the 85 million American adults with high blood pressure, nearly half — or 45.6{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} — do not have it under control, despite the fact that hypertension can usually be treated. Additionally, approximately 20{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of all people with high blood pressure in the U.S. are unaware they have the symptomless condition, placing them 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.