|| Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid
Hypertension is a highly prevalent cardiovascular risk factor in the world and particularly overwhelming in low and middle-income countries. Recent reports from the WHO and the World Bank highlight the importance of chronic diseases such as hypertension as an obstacle to the achievement of good health status. It must be added that for most low and middle-income countries, deficient strategies of primary healthcare are the major obstacles for blood pressure control. Furthermore, the epidemiology of hypertension and related diseases, healthcare resources and priorities, the socioeconomic status of the population vary considerably in different countries and in different regions of individual countries. Considering the low rates of blood pressure control achieved in Latin America and the benefits that can be expected from an improved control, it was decided to invite specialists from different Latin American countries to analyze the regional situation and to provide a consensus document on detection, evaluation and treatment of hypertension that may prove to be cost-utility adequate. The recommendations here included are the result of preparatory documents by invited experts and a subsequent very active debate by different discussion panels, held during a 2-day sessions in Asuncion, Paraguay, in May 2008. Finally, in order to improve clinical practice, the publication of the guidelines should be followed by implementation of effective interventions capable of overcoming barriers (cognitive, behavioral and affective) preventing attitude changes in both physicians and patients.