Author(s): Trilling JS, Froom J
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Abstract Hypertension is the most prevalent health problem among adult primary care patients, but its recognition and treatment are suboptimal. Although there is ample evidence from several large-scale randomized, controlled studies that treatment of hypertension reduces morbidity and mortality, current management of hypertension is characterized by underdiagnosis, misdiagnosis, undertreatment, overtreatment, and misuse of medications. As a result, roughly 75\% of the estimated 50 million adults with hypertension in the United States are at increased risk for vascular complications. Optimal therapy requires careful attention to patients' age, sex, race, diet, exercise, tobacco use, comorbid conditions, choice of antihypertensive drug treatment, compliance with treatment, and achievement of blood pressure control. Other issues that deserve scrutiny are accuracy of the initial diagnosis, self-monitoring of blood pressure, and the advisability of attempting reduction of dosage or possible withdrawal from administration of antihypertensive drug treatment in patients whose blood pressures have been controlled for 1 year or more. Physicians' knowledge and use of the Sixth Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure report are deficient. Several responses to this current crisis in care of hypertensive patients are reviewed, including computer-aided management, medical chart audit, academic detailing, and a nurse case manager using prepared algorithms in consultation with the physician.
This article was published in Arch Fam Med
and referenced in Journal of Novel Physiotherapies