Hypertension most neglected area of medicine

In the US, approximately one in three adults has high blood pressure. Of these, 36 million adults have uncontrolled hypertension and about 40% are unaware of their high blood pressure. At least 16 million US citizens take medication to treat their high blood pressure, but the pressure stays too high. More than 3 out of 4 people with uncontrolled hypertension visited a care professional at least twice in the prior year. (Drs. Thomas Frieden, Sallyann Coleman and Janet Wright in Journal of the American Medical Association)

Hypertension leads to (preventable) heart attacks, strokes, kidney and heart failure. It is actually good manageable in most patients by medicine or a lifestyle change. If medication is necessary, adherence is really important. Hypertension patients don’t feel sick most of the time. That’s why this group tends to be non-adherent. We suggest supporting these people with their non-adherence using modern techniques like Medication Adherence Support Systems. But here we experience the old chicken or the egg dilemma. It seems clear MASS offers great opportunities to improve people’s healthcare status, but no government or insurance company wants to invest in such a solution…yet.

Author: Indy Kavelaars @ Vitaphone Netherlands

Source: Medscape, AHA/ACC/CDC Issue ‘Science Advisory’ on Treating BPNovember 15, 2013, Michael O’Riordan

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