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October 2, 1996

Improving Care of Patients With Hypertension

Author Affiliations

Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's Medical Center Chicago, Ill

JAMA. 1996;276(13):1036-1037. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540130034021

To the Editor.  —As Dr Kannel1 reminds us, "The incidence and prevalence of hypertension remain very high despite efforts focused on its detection, evaluation, and treatment." The ongoing challenge is for health care professionals to communicate the abundant clinical data on high blood pressure to hypertensive patients.A recent survey confirms the need for improved communication between health care professionals and their hypertensive patients. In the first Hypertension Report Card on the Nation (unpublished data, October 1995), representatives of 8 professional medical groups assigned an overall letter grade of "C—" to the detection, prevention, and treatment of high blood pressure in the United States. Patient understanding of hypertension and communication between health care professionals and patients both received the grade of "D+." The 82 survey respondents included cardiologists, general practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and members of the American Heart Association Council for High Blood Pressure Research. The Hypertension Report