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Medical News & Perspectives
September 10, 2003

Addiction Poorly Understood by Clinicians

JAMA. 2003;290(10):1299-1303. doi:10.1001/jama.290.10.1299

Bal Harbour, Fla—A patient with high blood pressure arrives at his annual checkup after another sedentary year. His physician, who has sketchy knowledge about hypertension, sees that the patient has gained 12 lbs and that his blood pressure remains high. She lectures the patient about the importance of willpower in overcoming his life-threatening shortcomings. Without a thought about prescribing one of the several effective antihypertensives, she dismisses the patient, shakes her head, and murmurs to herself about the seemingly hopeless plight of "those hypertensives."