Help for High Blood Pressure

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Story Updated: Aug 22, 2013

An estimated 68 million American adults have high blood pressure, but less than half of them have it under control. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association explores whether being part of a multi-faceted hypertension program can change that for patients.

My blood pressure has been elevated since probably my late 30's and it has never really been under control until recently.

Researchers tracked the effects of a program designed by Kaiser Permanente that included a comprehensive hypertension registry, the sharing of performance metrics, evidence-based guidelines, medical assistant visits for blood pressure measurement and a single-pill combination therapy. Nearly 350,000 people started the program in 2001 and the number increased to more than 650,000 by 2009. Using all those 5 components we had over 80 percent hypertension control at the end and compare that to about 44 percent hypertension control in the beginning of 2001.

And they continued to improve afterwards to more than 87 percent in 2011. They also found that the use of a single pill, combining two blood pressure medications, led to a large increase in the number of prescriptions being filled.

Controlling high blood pressure is extremely important to your health. It reduces your risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and other diseases.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with news you can use for healthier living.

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