The Canadian effort to prevent and control hypertension: can other countries adopt Canadian strategies?

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Purpose of reviewTo indicate the key elements of current Canadian programs to treat and control hypertension.Recent findingsIn the early 1990s Canada had a hypertension treatment and control rate of 13%. A Canadian strategy to prevent and control hypertension was developed and a coalition of national organizations and volunteers formed to develop increasingly extensive programs. The Canadian effort was largely based on annually updated hypertension management recommendations, an integrated and extensive hypertension knowledge translation program and an increasingly comprehensive outcomes assessment program. After the start of the annual process in 1999, there were very large increases in diagnosis and hypertension treatment coupled with dropping rates of cardiovascular disease. More recent initiatives include an extensive education program for the public and people with hypertension, a program to reduce dietary salt and a funded leadership position. The treatment and control rate increased to 66% when last assessed (2007–2009).SummaryThe study describes important aspects of the Canadian hypertension management programs to aid those wishing to develop similar programs. Many of the programs could be fully or partially implemented by other countries.

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