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February 11, 2008

Is Information the Answer for Hypertension Control?

Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(3):259-260. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2007.71

Hypertension remains a huge unresolved issue in the United States. It is estimated that 1 in 3 Americans have hypertension, making it one of the most prevalent cardiovascular risk factors today.1 If not appropriately treated, these hypertensive patients face a markedly increased risk for future myocardial infarction, heart failure, stroke, and other vascular events. While there are now multiple effective antihypertensive drugs on the market, only about two-thirds of patients with hypertension are actively treated, and only one-third of patients reach target blood pressure levels.1 Despite multiple national public health campaigns and focused caregiver interventions, effective hypertension treatment remains sadly elusive. However, the future of hypertension control may be getting more encouraging. This optimism does not stem from the discovery of a new drug, but rather from the dawning of the information age in ambulatory medicine.