In a recent review study, researchers find both targeted and population-based strategies for blood pressure control can help prevent high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is linked to a high risk of stroke, ischemic heart disease, heart failure and other conditions.
The prevalence of the chronic condition globally is high and continues to increase.
High blood pressure is caused by a combination of genetic, environmental and social determinants.
While it is impossible to change the genetic factor, the risk for hypertension is preventable if people their environment and lifestyles
Unhealthy lifestyle factors, which are gradually formed in childhood and early adult life, include being overweight/obesity, unhealthy diet, high sodium and low potassium intake, insufficient exercise and alcohol drinking.
Many people do not change their lifestyle even after diagnosed with high blood pressure and keeping any lifestyle changes can be difficult.
In addition, race and socioeconomic status are linked to high blood pressure.
The condition is more prevalent in black and Hispanic people as well as poorer areas and the southeastern U.S.
In the current paper, the researchers suggest that control of high blood pressure should be done through both targeted and population-based strategies.
The targeted approach seeks to achieve a clinically important reduction in blood pressure for individual patients. This is a traditional approach.
On the other hand, the population-based strategy aims to achieve small reductions that are applied to the entire population.
Previous research has shown that this approach is better at preventing cardiovascular disease compared with the targeted strategy.
There are also some challenges in controlling blood pressure. This includes inaccurate blood pressure measurement and diagnosis, lack of awareness and access to health care, and proper treatment and control.
In addition, low rates of medication adherence is also a common problem.
The authors also discuss the Chronic Care Model, a framework for redesigning health care and addressing deficiencies in the care of chronic conditions.
It may offer strategies for overcoming barriers at the health system, physician, patient and community levels.
Robert M. Carey, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine is the lead author of the paper.
The review paper is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
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