|EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE
Thursday, May 4, 2000
4:00 p.m. EST
NHLBI Communications Office
NHLBI Issues New Clinical Advisory on Systolic Blood Pressure
- Blood pressure at all ages should be kept at below 140/90.
- Treatment for hypertension must begin early to prevent organ damage whatever the patient’s age.
- In hypertensives with diabetes, blood pressure should be kept below 130/85; and, in those with renal failure or heart failure, at the lowest level tolerated.
- Blood pressure should be reduced carefully in elderly persons with longstanding severe systolic hypertension; for resistant patients, blood pressure goals may take longer to reach.
The new national education campaign will try to increase the control rates for systolic hypertension by increasing awareness of the problem among patients and their physicians. A key part of the effort is the new Web site on high blood pressure.
Reached through the NHLBI home page at www.nhlbi.nih.gov, the Web site has separate gateways with offerings tailored for the public, physicians and other health professionals, and community organizations.
For instance, older Americans and others can find easy-to-understand information about high blood pressure, basic tips on how to control their high blood pressure, suggested questions to ask their doctor, and heart healthy recipes. They also can learn about the effects of uncontrolled high blood pressure on the heart, blood vessels, brain, and other organs.
Physicians can find such materials as the latest clinical practice guidelines and patient education resources, including ways to work with patients to increase treatment compliance.
Community organizations will find a resource kit to help them undertake local events in May and throughout the year to raise awareness of the importance of systolic blood pressure.
“Americans don’t have to put their health at risk from uncontrolled systolic hypertension,” said NHBPEP Coordinator Dr. Ed Roccella. “We now know how important systolic blood pressure is, and we also appreciate the clear benefits of controlling it. May is a season of new beginnings, and we hope Americans will hear this message and take action for a healthier life.”
For an interview about the advisory or the new education campaign, contact the NHLBI Communications Office at (301) 496-4236. For an American Heart Association comment, call Carole Bullock at the News Media Relations Office at (214) 706-1279.
The new high blood pressure Web site and NHLBI press releases and other materials can be found online at www.nhlbi.nih.gov.