/ Print /

  • linkedin
  • Increase Font
  • Sharebar

    New high blood pressure guideline healthcare cost impact


    According to new guidelines announced by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, high blood pressure should be treated sooner with lifestyle changes and in some patients with medication at a reading of 130/80 mm Hg rather than 140/90 mm Hg.

    As a result, instead of one in three U.S. adults having high blood pressure (32%) with the previous definition, the new guidelines will result in nearly half of the U.S. adult population (46%) having high blood pressure.

    The guidelines, which are the first update to offer comprehensive guidance to doctors on managing adults with high blood pressure since 2003, are designed to help people address the potentially deadly condition much earlier. High blood pressure accounts for the second largest number of preventable heart disease and stroke deaths, second only to smoking.

    “The intent of the guidelines is not so more prescriptions will be written, but rather for the purpose of early detection and prevention,” says Rob Greenfield, MD, cardiologist and director, non-invasive and preventive cardiology, and director, lipid clinics at MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California. “The new guidelines encourage a doctor and patient discussion if their blood pressure is elevated and directs the patient to eat healthier, exercise more, and possibly reduce salt intake. With more than one-third of the U.S. population being overweight, a risk factor for high blood pressure, these conversations are badly needed.”

    Impact on medication utilization

    Stage 1 hypertension (either a systolic reading of 130 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic reading of 80 to 89 mm Hg) will not result in prescribing medication, except in those patients with previous cardiac events or those at high risk for future events without pre-existing cardiac disease, adds Robert L. Gillespie, MD, cardiologist, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group, San Diego. There is clear data that patients are at increased risk of cardiac events starting at 115/75 mm Hg; it is a doctor’s obligation to let patients know that risk exists.

    The majority of Americans that require pharmacologic intervention will be those who are already taking medication for hypertension, says Kurt W. Kaulback, MD, FACC, clinical director, Cardiovascular Services, Inspira Health Network; and interventional cardiologist, Inspira Medical Group Cardiovascular Services, both located in Mullica Hill, New Jersey. 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.

    The impact of the new guidelines is expected to be greatest among younger people. The prevalence of high blood pressure is expected to triple among men under age 45 and double among women under 45. “Again, the vast majority will receive lifestyle modification recommendations rather than additional medications, except for those who would truly benefit because of their high risk,” Gillespie says.

    Cost impact

    “Many payers with access to preventive health programs as part of their insurance products will get the opportunity to judge the strength of their initiatives,” says Kaulback. “It will be interesting to see if there is a cost associated with the increased use of these programs, and if that cost is passed on to consumers. Because most anti-hypertensive medications are available as generics, the cost impact could be minimal.”

    Greenfield estimates the price of a cheap generic medication to be between $4 and $10 per month, which is insignificant compared to the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on bypass surgery, hospitalizations, pacemaker and implantable defibrillators, and extended intensive care unit stays. 

    Gillespie believes that the long-term impact should actually save healthcare dollars by preventing disease early. “While there will be a modest increase in prescribed medications, the emphasis on recognizing elevated blood pressure in its early stages and treating those at higher risk has the potential to save many lives and to actually lower the impact of hypertension on society,” he says. “In the U.S., more cardiovascular disease deaths are attributed to hypertension than any other modifiable risk. These guidelines are a step in the right direction to lower that burden.”

    Karen Appold is a medical writer in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.



    You must be signed in to leave a comment. Registering is fast and free!

    All comments must follow the ModernMedicine Network community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated. ModernMedicine reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part,in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

    • Anonymous
      Good day everybody my name is Mrs Caroline Gilli am here to share with you my life experience how a great man called Dr Alexzander saved me and my marriage.I have been Married & Barren for for 5 years i had no child. i have never been pregnant i was a subject of laughter from my Friends & neighbors, i almost lost my marriage because of this issue.i was so confused that i did not know what to do until i came across this great Dr online and i contacted him at once i was scared weather it was going to work because i never believed things like this before, so i decided to give it a try and i did all what Dr Alexzander asked of me and today to my greatest surprise i took in the first time and i gave birth to a bouncing baby boy and now my marriage that was about crashig before is now restored. my husband now love and want me better, Am so happy for everything that have been happening my life since i met this Dr Alexzander. I want to tell all the women out there who have a similar situation like that the world is not over YET they should dry up their tears and contact this great man and their problem will be gone or are you also having other problems you can also contact Dr Alexzander, here is how you can contact him [email protected] Or call him [+2347068836760 Thank Dr Alexzander for everything you did in my marriage. Thanks Caroline Grilli
    • [email protected]
      I see no reason why having issues in life when there's a God on Earth with the help of Lord Doctor Zakuza. My wife left me to her Ex-lover because she thought i couldn't get her pregnant after 6 years of our marriage. I was so disorganized and depressed for i could not concentrate at my place of work and my co-worker noticed that i was not myself. I had no choice than to tell her everything and she directed me to an honest helper online called Lord Doctor Zakuza for he could be of help to me. I got in touch with him seeking for he's help and he did a miracle in my life by bringing back my wife from her Ex-lover and now we have a child to call ours and i was promoted at my place of work as the managing director. I won't stop thanking Lord Doctor Zakuza for i promised him that i will share my story to the universe. Are you sick or need help to get your lover back? Then, contact Lord Doctor Zakuza now for there's nothing to hard for him to do. E-mail: [email protected]
    • [email protected]
      Hi everyone, Real & Powerful Love spell caster to get your Ex lover back fast online. I'm so excited. My ex-boyfriend is back after a breakup, I’m extremely happy that will are living together again. My boyfriend of a 4yr just broke up with me and am 30 weeks pregnant. I have cried myself to sleep most of the nights and don’t seem to concentrate during lectures sometimes I stay awake almost all night thinking about him and start to cry all over again. Because of this I end up not having energy for my next day’s classes, my attendance has dropped and am always in uni and on time. Generally he is a very nice guy, he ended it because he said we were arguing a lot and not getting along. He is right we’ve been arguing during the pregnancy a lot .After the break up I kept ringing him and telling him I will change. I am in love with this guy and he is the best guy I have ever been with. I’m still hurt and in disbelief when he said he didn’t have any romantic feelings towards me anymore that hurt me faster than a lethal syringe. He texts me now and then mainly to check up on how am doing with the pregnancy, he is supportive with it but it’s not fair on me, him texting me as I just want to grieve the pain and not have any stress due to the pregnancy. i was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Azeez can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a spell for me. 17 hours later, my bf came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my bf are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Azeez if you have any problem contact Dr Azeez now and i guarantee you that he will help you. Here’s his contact. Email him at: Email him at: [email protected] you can also call him or add him on what’s-app: +2348160153829
    • [email protected]
      Hello Globe i want to let the world know about how i got cured from HERPES. I had HERPES disease for five years and usually have eight to nine outbreak per year. I always use generic Zovirax cream during outbreaks which helps a little. I am so tired of these outbreaks and i came in conclusion of going into the internet to search for help, Recently I read about a herbal doctor named herbal that he can help to cure my herpes virus and i wrote to him through his page and email: [email protected], but I was afraid it may not work out well but i had to double my faith. this herbal doctor wrote back to me and of a truth after reading his reply, he assured me that i'm also going to be a living witness that there is cure for herpes virus and i was full of hope again, he told me what to do and how to go about it, i went according to the instruction given to me by doctor herbal and just as what he told he and the date given to me by him, i got cured.whats-app him on +2348064438762.

    Follow Us On Twitter

    Find us on Facebook

    Latest Tweets Follow