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8/15/2000

May Is High Blood Pressure Month

Cheryl A. Thompson

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has declared May as National High Blood Pressure Education Month. It urges Americans: “If Your Blood Pressure Is Not Lower Than 140/90, Ask Your Doctor Why.”

High blood pressure affects more about 50 million American adults. Of those with hypertension, about 68% are aware of their condition but only 27% have it under control. The reasons for this include not taking drugs as prescribed and/or not taking a medication that sufficiently lowers blood pressure. 

Hypertension can lead to stroke, heart failure, or kidney damage. To help prevent that, blood pressure must be lowered to less than 140/90 mm Hg. Normal blood pressure is less than 130/85 mm Hg. 

ASHP recognizes this serious health problem and supports this effort in spreading the word about the dangers of uncontrolled hypertension. The Society’s Commission on Therapeutics will publish in 1999 or 2000 a “Therapeutic Position Statement on Optimizing Treatment of Hypertension” to encourage multidisciplinary action on this issue. In addition to this position statement, another paper written by Barry Carter, Pharm.D. and William Elliott, M.D., Ph.D. on the role of “Pharmacists in the Detection, Management, and Control of Hypertension: A national Call to Action.” will be published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacists. In addition, the JNC VI Guidelines are included in the American Hospital Formulary Service Drug Information reference that ASHP publishes. 

Below are various links to additional resources to help you better understand what you can do in preventing, detecting, controlling, and treating high blood pressure.