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Blood pressure goal missed by two thirds of patients

Less than a third of patients in Europe achieve acceptable blood pressure control. The remaining two thirds are “challenging patients”, ie, patients whose blood pressure physicians struggle to control.

These are the alarming findings of a White Paper published in the Journal of Hypertension by an international group of physicians calling for urgent action. The group met to discuss the daily challenges European physicians face in the current critical situation of hypertension control.

The outcome is a consensus that continued failure to control hypertension inflicts an unacceptable yet avoidable toll on patients, families and society.

The group concluded: “a challenging patient is in essence anyone with blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or greater”.

Whilst the current perception is “close to goal is acceptable”, the reality is that the majority of challenging patients die prematurely or live with avoidable disabilities.

Chairman, Professor Josef Redon, Hospital Clinico, University of Valencia, Spain commented on the meeting and subsequent White Paper: “As a group we concluded that any patient with blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or greater is at significant risk of cardiovascular disease progression, death and or disability. As it is a challenge to get these patients to goal BP these “challenging patients” require persistent optimisation of therapy until target blood pressure is achieved.”

Inaction, or ineffective action, costs the EU community an estimated €192billion annually. Control rates are significantly higher in other developed countries. To address the current critical situation key challenges were identified and effective solutions postulated, with a simple aim: to treat all challenging patients effectively to goal BP, preventing disability, saving lives and helping to relieve the financial burden of hypertension-driven cardiovascular disease.

Journal of Hypertension