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Affecting about one in three adults within the U.S., hypertension—or high blood pressure—is a dangerous condition that can lead to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. What’s more, only about half of this population reportedly has their hypertension under control.
This year’s World Hypertension Day theme is “Know Your Numbers,” stressing the importance of vigilance when it comes to knowing your blood pressure and increasing awareness across the globe.
With a focus on health promotion, disease prevention and health education and counseling, nurse practitioners (NPs) are well positioned to guide patients in making smarter health and lifestyle choices to prevent or control hypertension. This World Hypertension Day, find continuing education (CE), resources for your patients and clinical guidelines to help you make a positive difference in your community.
Available through the Nurse Practitioner Support and Alignment Network (NP-SAN), the Chronic Care Model for Hypertension Control webinar offers information on the benefits of blood pressure control, quality measures and clinical decision support interventions.
Collaborate with other practicing NPs, ask questions and share your clinical insight by joining the Cardiology Specialty Practice Group. For just $20 per year, prorated to your membership, you’ll have access to cutting-edge forum, complete with document sharing and knowledge exchange on everything from hypertension to heart failure.
Why is it important for patients to know their numbers? Well, recent guidelines have changed the classification of hypertension, meaning that a blood pressure reading of 130/80 mm Hg or higher is now considered high.
The American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC) partnered with nine organizations and a panel of experts to develop the 2017 Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults. The guidelines are intended to provide a comprehensive resource for clinicians, with the aim of improving outcomes through early detection and effective management of hypertension.
For more information, The Journal for Nurse Practitioners (JNP) published Reaching for Goal: Incorporating the Latest Hypertension Guidelines Into Practice. A useful resource for NPs, the article offers guidance on how to incorporate the best available evidence into hypertensive care management.
The AHA and American Stroke Association have also compiled Highlights From the 2017 Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults for an overview of the key changes and recommendations.
To address the rising incidence of uncontrolled blood pressure, the initiative Target: BP™ was formed by AHA and AMA. By joining, health care providers gain evidence-based guidelines, clinical tools and support to help them optimize how hypertension is diagnosed and managed. AHA works with participating providers on a customized plan, provide guidance on data reporting and helps identify improvement measures. High-performing participants, identified as those that achieve blood pressure control rates at or above 70%, are nationally recognized by Target: BP.
AHA also offers a number of provider and patient resources, including a downloadable infographics on blood pressure raisers and management, plus handouts and pamphlets on diagnosing hypertension, medication for hypertension and the importance of limiting sodium.
AANP also partners with Million Hearts®, an initiative to address heart disease and stroke co-led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). For providers, Million Hearts offers a number of fact sheets, available for free download, on topics such as improving medication adherence and improving provider-patient communication.
To address those individuals with uncontrolled hypertension, or those who don’t know that they could have hypertension, Million Hearts has an Undiagnosed Hypertension Partner Toolkit for providers, complete with videos on how to find undiagnosed hypertensive patients, case studies and a prevalence estimator tool. Similarly, the Self-measured Blood Pressure Monitoring toolkit offers action steps, infographics, resources and success stories to help people with hypertension lower their blood pressure.
It’s the first step toward managing hypertension—and a step toward a healthy heart.