Hypertension Kills a Half a Million People a Year and is Treatable

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Coronavirus had a significant impact in the United States, beginning in the early months of 2020. COVID-19 has affected 932,000 people and taken the lives of 52,608 people as of April 25, 2020. Around 2000 people die from it each day (the figure varies from day to day).

COVID-19 has become the world’s worst nightmare, but deaths caused by hypertension are no less than the deaths caused by COVID-19. Hypertension is a disease that can easily be managed and controlled with lifestyle adjustments and proper medication. However, the death rate of hypertension continues to remain close to a virus that still has no known universally accepted cure. 

Lack of awareness, absence of routine medical care, and even denial of signs and symptoms of hypertension have made this controllable and curable disease one of the leading causes of death for millions of people. Yet, it is still not taken as seriously. When we compare the two conditions, hypertension, controllable with a little effort, and the virus, which does not have a vaccine yet, their mortality rates are similar.

In 2017, nearly half a million deaths were attributable to hypertension, whether it was a primary or a contributing cause. In the United States, almost half of the adult population has hypertension. That is 108 million or 45% of the population. Unfortunately, only 24%, roughly 1 in 4 adults with hypertension has their blood pressure managed and under control. Through proper management and patient compliance, the mortality rate of this disease can be reduced.

Research presented by the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC) showed a dramatic increase in hypertension-related deaths in the United States. There has been a 72% rise in mortality rates in the rural areas and a 20% rise in mortality rates in urban areas of the United States. 

Your blood pressure rises and falls as you go about your daily routine.  If it remains high for extended periods, it can damage your heart and cause serious yet preventable health conditions. Untreated and unmonitored hypertension increases the risk of stroke and heart disease, resulting in a high mortality rate and remaining a leading cause of death in the United States.

High blood pressure that is higher than average is called hypertension. In 2017, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology set guidelines regarding the management of hypertension. Blood pressure above 130/80mm Hg is considered high, and a reading above 140/90mm Hg is considered Stage 2 hypertension. 

Hypertension can be treated with lifestyle modifications, diet adjustments, and proper medication. If left uncontrolled and untreated, this easily preventable disease will continue to be a leading cause of death in the United States. 

Management of hypertension involves patient education and awareness about the importance of self-monitoring, management, and a healthy lifestyle. Absolute Urgent Care encourages our patients to partner with us to recognize and manage their hypertension. Our practitioners will work with you to make healthy dietary changes, establish a new exercise routine, and routinely monitor your blood pressure with our MyCarePlan app. 

With our newly introduced MyCarePlan app, one of the care providers from our clinic can remotely monitor your entered blood pressure readings. The providers use this data to set patient-specific goals to help you safely manage your hypertension. The app will send you a reminder notification to input your blood pressure reading. It tracks your progress and sends a report to the practitioner reviewing your case. The app also notifies our staff if your blood pressure is out of the acceptable range. Your healthcare provider can help you regulate and adjust your medication dosages without you ever having to come into the office. 

The MyCarePlan app also allows additional notifications for other health aspects such as blood sugar readings or exercise reminders, all helping to aid in our goal to help our patients enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. 

Whenever you have a question or need help, you can send a message, book an appointment, or schedule a video call through the MyCarePlan app.  

REFERENCES:

  1. Whelton PK, Carey RM, Aronow WS, Casey DE, Collins KJ, Dennison C, et al. 2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA Guideline for the prevention, detection, evaluation, and management of high blood pressure in adults external icon. Hypertension. 2018;71(19):e13–115.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death, 1999–2017. CDC WONDER Online Database. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2018. Accessed January 7, 2019.
  3. Benjamin, Emelia J., et al. “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2019 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association.” Circulation, vol. 139, no. 10, Mar. 2019. DOI.org (Crossref), DOI:10.1161/CIR.0000000000000659.
  4. 15. Fletcher BR, Hinton L, Bray EP, Hayen A, Hobbs FR, Mant J, et al. Self-monitoring blood pressure in patients with hypertension: an internet-based survey of UK GPs. Br J Gen Pract. 2016;66(652):e831–e8e7. DOI: 10.3399/bjgp16X687037.
  5. World Health Organization. Reducing salt intake in populations. Report of WHO Forum and Technical Meeting. Paris: 2006.
  6. Fagard RH, Cornelissen VA. Effect of exercise on blood pressure control in hypertensive patients. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2007;14(1):12–7.
  7. Cappuccio FP, Kerry SM, Forbes L, Donald A. Blood pressure control by home monitoring: a meta-analysis of randomized trials. BMJ. 2004;329: 145 Epub 2004/06/15.

 


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