Why in 2016 are patients with hypertension not 100% controlled? A call to action

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The objective is to consider the problem of high blood pressure (BP), a leading global risk factor, associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Despite the availability of treatment guidelines and a wide range of therapies, BP control is suboptimal in many countries. Recent data indicate that only around 40% of patients manage to achieve an adequate level of BP control. A group of international experts in the field of hypertension met in 2008 to consider this problem. The resulting white paper delivered an urgent call to action and identified six key issues for improving BP control. In 2015, a working group of investigators spontaneously undertook an action with the primary aim of considering the current hypertension management situation in Europe, to discuss whether the situation had changed since 2008 and to determine what can be learnt from the projects in other continents, such as the Canadian Hypertension Education Program, which has shown that higher levels of BP control can be achieved across a general population. The working group identified the main challenges affecting the improvement of BP control today and suggests five key actions: identify the BP treatment target of less than 140/90 mmHg for the majority of patients, simplify treatment strategies and encourage pill reduction, decrease therapeutic inertia, improve patient empowerment, and involve healthcare systems and reduce the prevailing focus on drug costs in many healthcare systems. Implementing key actions identified by the working group may help to improve achievement of better BP control across Europe.

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