Health groups join forces to help Americans control blood pressure
In a move toward meeting goals for better cardiovascular health in the United States over the next decade, the American Heart Association (AHA) is joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Hypertension Control Roundtable (NHCR)® along with other founding members in a public, private and non-profit collaboration committed to increasing blood pressure control rates to 80% by 2025. Currently, only about half of people living in the U.S. with high blood pressure have it adequately controlled.
Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, poses a significant health risk to our society. More than 100 million US adults (nearly 1 in 2) have hypertension, which contributes to heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, kidney failure, loss of eyesight and sexual dysfunction. All of these conditions affect one’s quality and length of life.
Data published in January in the AHA’s Heart & Stroke Statistics - 2020 Update, show heart disease and stroke deaths continue to decline, but more people are living in poor health, beginning at a younger age, largely due to controllable risk factors like hypertension.
“This year, the AHA outlined a bold 2030 Impact Goal for the U.S. to help people not just add more years to their lives, but also add more life to their years,” said American Heart Association Chief Medical Officer for Prevention, Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., M.P.H., FAAFP, who is interim co-chair of the NHCR. “We are committed to working together with other health organizations and the communities we live in to increase healthy life expectancy from 66 to 68 years by 2030. Getting high blood pressure under control will go a long way toward achieving our goal.”
According to the AHA’s statistics, eliminating hypertension could reduce deaths from heart disease and stroke by more than 30% – having a larger impact on cardiovascular death rates than the elimination of all other risk factors among women and all except smoking among men.
“We look forward to working with the NHCR’s interim leadership, the CDC and fellow founding members to spotlight the challenge of hypertension control and advance efforts to meet this goal,” said Sanchez.
Joining the NHCR further extends the collaborative efforts of the AHA and the American Medical Association (AMA). The AHA and AMA have been working together since 2016 on Target:BP, a free national initiative to help U.S. health care organizations and care teams improve blood pressure control rates through an evidence-based quality improvement program that recognizes organizations committed to improving and controlling blood pressure.