Recently, researchers discovered that blood pressure control worsened for hypertension patients between 2013 and 2018. This finding demonstrates a disturbing reversal in previous trends of improving patient care.
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension occurs when patients consistently demonstrate elevated blood pressure. Many physicians agree that a systolic blood pressure of 130 mmHg or more is considered hypertensive.
Like most conditions, there are varying degrees of severity. Common symptoms of hypertension include headaches, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. In more critical instances, according to the Mayo Clinic, individuals have a higher risk of dementia, stroke, and heart attack.
The CDC estimates that high blood pressure was a primary or contributing cause of death for 472,000 patients in the US during 2017. The epidemic is widespread, especially for patients over the age of 60.
For most adults, there is no one distinct cause for high blood pressure. Some have hypothesized that genetics play a role.
What were the main findings of the study?
According to findings presented at the virtual American Heart Association Hypertension Scientific Session, the percentage of BP control “declined to 48% for the 2015-2016 NHANES survey and then to 43.4% for the 2017-2018 survey, with a drop from 2013 to 2018 of 11.1% (P < .001).”
In addition, average systolic BP rose across all age categories with statistical significance.
“A closer look at our findings revealed the fall in blood pressure control in older adults was mainly due to less effective use of blood pressure medication and management, so we need to focus on making sure the level of treatment is adequate for this age group. We found the decrease in blood pressure management among the 40- to 59-year-old age group was mainly due to lack of awareness of and treatment for hypertension,” Brent M. Egan, MD, professor of medicine at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Greenville, said in a press release.
How can Sentinel’s RPM Platform Combat this trend?
Sentinel leads the fight for better hypertension care. By automatically analyzing patient data, the company can identify any concerning blood pressure trends. Doctors can then notify patients with appropriate steps for better, faster care.
Based off of a partner study with the American Heart Association, Sentinel estimates that RPM can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack by roughly 50%. In part, this reduction is because the company can preemptively identify emergency situations.
In addition, older patients also find the mobile app easy to use. Sentinel has enrolled thousands of individuals virtually due to COVID-19. Since Sentinel is built by doctors, the company has unique insight into the needs of practices.
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