National heart organizations join to combat the global hypertension epidemic

May 19, 2014

NEW YORK, N.Y., May 19, 2014: It's estimated that more than 970 million people have hypertension1 and, globally, the disease is responsible for more than nine million deaths every year, making it one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In an effort to help manage the epidemic, leading scientists from the American Society of Hypertension (ASH), American Heart Association (AHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened a joint panel to discuss a global project aiming to improve the treatment and control of hypertension worldwide.

The joint session, entitled Global Blood Pressure Control Through a Shared Strategy: The Global Standardized Hypertension Treatment Project, held on May 18, is part of the 29th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension.

Rates of hypertension have increased in both developed and developing nations, due, in part, to the world's aging population and lifestyles that include high salt diets and low physical activity. While prevention is key, acting quickly to control raised blood pressure through medical treatment will help save lives of people currently living with the condition.

The project is a collaboration between the CDC, the Pan American Health Organization, and other regional and global stakeholders, who have been working to identify a core set of medications appropriate to treat adults with hypertension, as well as cost-effective strategies for availability of medications and patient care delivery. It builds upon lessons learned and best practices for the clinical management of hypertension, and aims to make it possible for other audiences of clinicians, healthcare administrators and decision-makers to improve blood pressure control in their communities.

The co-chairs of the scientific meeting are Drs. Sonia Y. Angell, M.D., M.P.H. of CDC Atlanta, Ga. and Donald J. DiPette, M.D. of Columbia, S.C. Highlights from the Joint Scientific Session Included: "Hypertension is so pervasive worldwide that the development and implementation of a global public health initiative could eventually help prevent millions of premature deaths," explained Dominic Sica, M.D., ASH President-Elect and 2014 ASH Scientific Program Committee Chair.

"Hypertension affects nearly one in three adults and kills more people around the world than anything else. It is both too common and too often poorly controlled, but we can change this," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "This project shares an evidence-based approach that simplifies care, increases control, and can save lives. Working together to share and implement best practices, we can reduce the risk for heart attack and stroke, and help people live longer, healthier lives."

"The American Heart Association is delighted to once again collaborate with major stakeholders in the war against the deadly disease of hypertension. Concerted efforts to deliver effective therapy to a global population can be successful in reducing premature deaths and disability for millions of people," said Mariell Jessup, M.D., American Heart Association president.

Due to such high global prevalence of hypertension, improving population-wide hypertension control is a public health imperative that may help reduce overall mortality and disability associated with cardiovascular disease and stroke.
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About the American Society of Hypertension, Inc.

The American Society of Hypertension, Inc. (ASH) is the largest U.S. professional organization of scientific investigators and healthcare professionals committed to eliminating hypertension and its consequences. ASH is dedicated to promoting strategies to prevent hypertension and to improving the care of patients with hypertension and associated disorders. The specific focus of the Society is to translate current research findings on hypertension into effective treatment strategies, in order to better address the needs of hypertensive patients. For more information, please visit http://www.ash-us.org.

About the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same. CDC increases the health security of our nation. As the nation's health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish our mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise. For more information, please visit http://www.CDC.gov .

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke - America's No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Sources:

1. http://www.world-heart-federation.org/cardiovascular-health/cardiovascular-disease-risk-factors/hypertension/

2. http://www.who.int/cardiovascular_diseases/guidelines/hypertension/en/

3. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/hyprtens.htm

Pollock Communications

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