Mobile phone calls may cause a rise in blood pressure, yoga may lower it, and persons with hypertension may have an increased desire for saltier foods even though they need to cut back on sodium intake to lower their blood pressure. These are among the research findings to be presented at the 28th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension (ASH), May 15-18, in San Francisco. The goals are to increase understanding of hypertension and, perhaps, find a cure.
Many of the more than 200 new studies about hypertension are geared to primary care physicians. The “Hypertension for the Primary Care Clinician” program track includes the following educational sessions:
• Management Issues—Resistant Hypertension, Hypertension Urgencies and Emergencies, The Orthostatic Hypertensive Patient
• Special Populations—Oral Contraception and Hypertension, The Asian Hypertensive, Adolescents with Hypertension
• Patient Cases
• Home and Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring—Review of the ASH Position Paper, Overcoming Challenges in Using ABPM, Implementing ABPM into Your Practice, Interpreting the Data in Adult and Pediatric Populations: A Case-Based Approach
• JNC 8 and NHLBI Guidelines: Practical Applications—When Should You Initiate Drug Treatment in Hypertension, Goal Blood Pressure, Primary Care Perspective, What Should Be the Initial Pharmacologic Therapy, Lifestyle Modifications, Implementation of Guidelines: A Systems Approach, Implementation of Guidelines: An Office-Based Approach, What the Guidelines Don’t Tell Us
A study to be presented at the ASH meeting addresses primary care physicians’ lifestyle behaviors and associated patient recommendations for hypervention treatment. The study authors concluded that primary care physicians’ own behavior is associated with clinical recommendations to prevent hypertension for their adult patients.
The investigators analyzed the DocStyles 2012 web-based survey to assess primary care physicians’ demographics, health-related behaviors, practice setting, and hypertension prevention. The mean age was 47.0 years; years of practice, average of 15.5 years; 95.5% were nonsmokers; 53.4% consumed 5 cups of fruits/vegetables 4 days per week; 28.9% reported 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days per week.
When asked about healthy lifestyle recommendations they offer to adult patients to prevent hypertension, the studied primary care physicians reported the following:
• Maintaining a healthy diet (89.4%).
• Reducing salt intake (89.9%).
• Attaining or maintaining a healthy weight (90.3%).
• Limiting alcohol intake (69.4%).
• Being physically active (95.1%).
• Stopping smoking (90.4%).
All 6 lifestyle behaviors were recommended by 56.1% of the primary care physicians. Their demographic characteristics and practice setting were not associated in offering all 6 lifestyle recommendations. However, those who exercised or consumed adequate fruits/vegetables were more likely to offer all 6 lifestyle recommendations than those who did not, suggesting that a primary care physician’s own behavior is associated with clinical recommendations to prevent hypertension for their adult patients.
High blood pressure affects about 1 billion persons worldwide, including 1 in 3 adults in the United States, according to the ASH.