Non-communicable diseases cause the most deaths worldwide. Despite having complex contributing factors, the most common and significant risk factor also is the least complex to reduce: high blood pressure. Hypertension affects nearly half of U.S. adults and more than 1.4 billion people worldwide, with significant racial and economic disparities. It is a contributing factor in vulnerability to COVID-19. Meanwhile, hypertension is relatively easy to diagnose and inexpensive to treat. Even small reductions in blood pressure can translate to significant health gains, offering remarkable cost-to-impact value.
We have proven, effective ways to close gaps in how blood pressure is measured and managed through three simple, evidence-based healthcare practices that are adoptable and sustainable in diverse settings. We are scaling these effective practices across the U.S. and key global markets, aiming to benefit 100 million patients. Improving hypertension control will directly result in millions of longer, healthier lives.
American Heart Association, Inc.website: http://www.heart.org
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As the COVID-19 pandemic began spreading through the world's population in 2020, people with hypertension as a pre-existing condition proved to be more vulnerable to severe illness and death from the virus. The prevalence of this risk factor among communities of color likely contributed to the virus' inequitable impact on these communities. This tragic reality brought additional attention to hypertension.
In response, the American Heart Association collaborated with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to address racial and ethnic disparities in hypertension control in the U.S. The project will support participating federally qualified health centers by providing patient and provider education and training for effective hypertension control.
We continue to seek opportunities to expand hypertension control to reach high-need populations beyond those served by participating federal clinics, and continue to explore opportunities for global impact to address this pervasive yet preventable life-threatening condition.