Beyond the Data: Hypertension: Detect, Connect, Control

I’m Tania Popovic and
welcome to Beyond the Data. Here with me is Dr. Janet Wright and we have just completed
a wonderful session on controlling the hypertension
and heard how much of a burden on our people and
our nation that is, but also have heard how many
wonderful interventions there are out there. Can you briefly tell us why
hypertension is so important? Great question Tania. The hypertension’s a problem because there are many
many factors weighing in to create this lack of
control in the country. Some of the factors are
within the individual. Blood pressure elevations
typically don’t cause any symptoms so it’s really hard for
me if I have high blood pressure to take a pill every day for something that’s
not bothering me. The pill is a certain cost and
it’s a nuisance to take it. It’s also hard to practice
good healthy habits. We are awash in a world
of higher sodium foods and it’s challenging to
get in daily exercise. But both of those things can
help lower blood pressure. I have heard you and other
colleagues who are in the world of prevention of
high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases
say, “Know your ABCS” and I’m sure you don’t mean
your grade school ABCS. What do you mean by,
“Know your ABCS”? We think that high
performance on these ABCS will, will very promptly lead to
fewer heart attacks and strokes. So, the ABCS for us are
aspirin, when appropriate. Have a conversation with your
health care professional. The B is for blood
pressure control. The C is for Cholesterol
management and S is for smoking cessation. You have spent; your talk was
focused on the Million Hearts. Can you tell us what
is the Million Hearts and what is its main goal? Million Hearts is a national
initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services. It’s co-led by CDC and
CMS with an explicit goal to prevent a million heart
attacks and strokes by 2017. Isn’t that nice to have a
very specific goal because one of the things that
seems to be lacking, not to have a very specific
goal that people can strive to. So I think it’s really
important to know that within the next five
years we can really save a million lives. I have also heard during
this session major emphasis on the importance of having
the public health world work together with the
health care world. Why is that especially
important when it comes to the cardiovascular
disease and hypertension and what would be a key
message to the colleagues in one and the other world? The idea that all of the
riches of public health, all of the expertise in
community and population and science coming
together with healthcare, focusing on the ABCS and
excellence in the ABCS. It’s a recipe for success. So the request of the public
health community is help us support healthy behaviors and those include even taking
medications when necessary. Help us improve the
supply the availability of lower sodium food choices. Over on the clinical side,
it really crystallizes around excellence in the ABCS, using health information
technology and teams in new models of care
that recognize outcomes. So this is definitely
one of the areas where this is a great example
of the broadest collaboration that could be possibly be,
be between these two sectors. Exactly, it’s at once both broad because it encompasses
commu…really up from homes and individuals in their homes
to the community organizations, faith based, into
states, and then federal. Broad in that sense
but very focused on preventing heart
attack and stroke. Thank you so very much Janet! Thank you and I hope you
will join us next time for Beyond the Data.

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