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    Small Doses: March 2018 Edition

    Easy-to-swallow news and studies for the busy pharmacist.


    Blood pressure reading

    Will New Blood Pressure Guidelines Increase Drug Scripts?

    New guidelines on hypertension from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) include major changes in blood pressure treatment in order to prevent hypertension problems earlier.

    Instead of 32%  of U.S. adults having high blood pressure, as seen with the previous definition, the new guidelines will result in 46% of the U.S. adult population having high blood pressure.

    The guidelines—the first major change since 2003—propose earlier lifestyle changes and blood pressure medication for some patients who have a reading of 130/80 mm Hg, rather than 140/90 mm Hg.

    Related article: Clinical Challenge: Treating Nasal Congestion with Concomitant Hypertension

    “The intent of the guidelines is not so more prescriptions will be written, but rather for the purpose of early detection and prevention,” Rob Greenfield, MD, tells Drug Topics’ sister publication Managed Healthcare Executive. He is a cardiologist and director of Non-Invasive and Preventive Cardiology, and of the Lipid Clinics at MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA.  

    The majority of Americans who require pharmacologic intervention will be those who are already taking medication for hypertension, says Kurt W. Kaulback, MD, FACC, clinical director of the Cardiovascular Services, Inspira Health Network; and Interventional Cardiologist at Inspira Medical Group Cardiovascular Services, both located in Mullica Hill, N.J.

    Particular attention should be paid to individuals with a history of cardiac and cerebrovascular complications of hypertension such as congestive heart failure, stroke, and heart attack, he says.

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