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June 25, 2008

Improving Hypertension Control Rates: Technology, People, or Systems?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson (Dr Jones); and Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, North Carolina (Dr Peterson). Dr Jones is the president of the American Heart Association. Dr Peterson is also Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2008;299(24):2896-2898. doi:10.1001/jama.299.24.2896

Hypertension is the most common reversible cardiovascular disease risk factor in the United States and around the world. By 2025, it is predicted that more than 1.5 billion individuals worldwide will have hypertension, accounting for up to 50% of heart disease risk and 75% of stroke risk.1,2 Yet the ravages of hypertension are potentially preventable. For several decades, it has been well known that lowering blood pressure (BP) with lifestyle modification, medications, or both can substantially reduce a patient's subsequent risk for disease.3 For each 10-mm Hg decrease in systolic BP, the average risk of heart disease mortality and cerebrovascular disease mortality decreases by 30% and 40%, respectively.4