Hypertension: Diagnosis & Initial Management

Why is this important?

The prevalence of hypertension is high, with the risk rising as people age. The risk of elevated blood pressure is significant and is a leading cause of preventable death due to cardiovascular disease. Many people are unaware that they have hypertension and even among those who do, less than half are treated to the recommended target levels. 

  • Hypertension was the leading cause of death and disability worldwide in 2010. 
  • In the US it is 2nd only to tobacco use as a preventable cause of death for any reason.
  • During 2015–2016, the prevalence of hypertension was 29% and increased with age to 63% among individuals 60 and over. The rates varied by race, highest among non-Hispanic blacks (40%). The rate of effectively controlled hypertension was only 48%.3 Many individuals are also not aware that they have hypertension. The lifetime risk of developing hypertension varies by race/ethnicity and is higher among African Americans (93%) and Hispanics (92%) than for whites (86%) and Asians (84%).

How will these tools help?

The risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) increases exponentially beginning from SBP levels of 115 mm Hg and DBP levels of 75 mm Hg. Every 20 mm Hg rise in SBP or 10 mm Hg rise in DBP is associated with a doubling in the risk of death from stroke, heart disease or other vascular diseases. Effective blood pressure management has been shown to decrease the incidence of stroke, heart attack, and heart failure.

Target Audience

Target Audience

  • Physicians

  • Physician Assistants

  • Nurse Practitioners

  • Registered Nurses

  • Medical Assistants

  • Practice Managers

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize essential hypertension in patients not yet formally diagnosed with the condition.
  • Engage patients as partners to reduce risk and improve hypertension control (e.g., shared decision making on approach and setting goals based on patient values, preferences, outcomes).
  • Connect clinicians, patients, and families to a variety of resources for information and support about healthy behaviors.
  • Understand the options for initiating pharmacologic therapy, if necessary, the goals of therapy and how to counsel patients on the importance of medication adherence.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 20.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.00 Attendance
  • 20.00 ABIM MOC
  • 20.00 ABMS MOC
Course opens: 
08/01/2018
Course expires: 
07/31/2021
Cost:
$0.00
Parent activity set: 
Rating: 
0

Practice Advisor Content Manager

Jillian Schneider, MHA

Manager Practice Support, American College of Physicians

Contributors

Beverly Johnson, BSN

President and Chief Executive Officer

Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care

Mary Minniti, CPHQ

Senior Policy and Programs Specialist

Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care

Cynthia (Daisy) Smith, MD, FACP

Vice President, Clinical Programs

American College of Physicians

Lawrence Ward, MD, MPH, FACP

Executive Vice Chairman of Medicine

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

Staff Editors

Monica Lizarraga, MPH

Grants Administrator

Disha Patel

Practice Support Coordinator

Cheryl Rusten, MPA

Programs and Grants Manager

Margo Williams, MHA

Senior Associate, Medical Practice

Lawrence D. Ward, MD, MPH, FACP; Professor of Medicine, Executive Vice Chairman of Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University was a major contributor to this module.

Available Credit

  • 20.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.00 Attendance
  • 20.00 ABIM MOC
  • 20.00 ABMS MOC

Accreditation Period

Course opens: 
08/01/2018
Course expires: 
07/31/2021

Price

Cost:
$0.00
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