ERLANGEN, Germany and BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Power Over Pressure steering committee today announced the launch of the world's first online resource created to help healthcare professionals improve diagnosis and develop solutions for treatment-resistant hypertension, an urgent and growing public health issue that affects 120 million people worldwide.1,2 Developed by global hypertension experts and endorsed by the American Society of Hypertension and the European Society of Hypertension, this new, free resource is available at PowerOverPressure.com.
"Despite focused efforts and the introduction of multiple new therapies, the percentage of hypertension patients resistant to treatment has increased by 62 percent in the last 20 years – making it critical for physicians across all disciplines who care for these patients to work together to improve patient outcomes," said Suzanne Oparil, M.D., professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics, director of the vascular biology and hypertension program in the division of cardiovascular disease at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the United States and co-chair of the Power Over Pressure Steering Committee. "PowerOverPressure.com was designed to be the one-stop comprehensive digital location for everything related to treatment-resistant hypertension, including educational guides, slide sets, and other valuable tools to help physicians more quickly identify people with treatment-resistant hypertension and optimize their care plans through current and emerging treatment approaches."
Patients with treatment-resistant hypertension, defined as persistently high blood pressure despite treatment with three or more antihypertensive medications, have a three-fold increase in risk of cardiovascular events compared to individuals with controlled high blood pressure. It is often caused by multiple factors including lifestyle and underlying conditions, making its management complex and potentially requiring the involvement of hypertension specialists. Diagnosing treatment-resistant hypertension is a process of elimination, and several factors must be considered before a patient with presumed treatment-resistant hypertension can be classified as truly treatment-resistant.
At PowerOverPressure.com healthcare professionals have access to a systematic, step-wise approach to evaluate, diagnose, and manage treatment-resistant hypertension. This approach can be used to help confirm the diagnosis of treatment-resistant hypertension, as well as identify areas for hypertension treatment optimization. The approach focuses on:
- Confirming the accuracy of blood pressure measurement
- Optimizing pharmacotherapy and adherence
- Addressing lifestyle barriers to blood pressure control
- Considering referral to a specialist
Because the management of treatment-resistant hypertension patients often requires a multi-disciplinary approach, the online resource was designed to help establish community support among physicians and patients through downloadable tools and materials including:
- A primer that highlights key educational topics in treatment-resistant hypertension, such as the magnitude of the problem, diagnosis, pathophysiology, and current and emerging management approaches
- Educational resources to foster peer-to-peer best practice sharing
Treatment-resistant hypertension has a significant impact on patients emotionally and has a profound impact on their everyday lives. A recent global survey of more than 4,500 patients with uncontrolled hypertension, conducted through the Power Over Pressure program, found an alarming 65 percent of people with treatment-resistant hypertension reported that high blood pressure remains their most serious health concern. Eighty percent of patients with treatment-resistant hypertension reported that their high blood pressure has had a negative impact on their overall peace of mind and six out of ten patients (60 percent) admitted to being very worried about having a stroke as a result of their high blood pressure.
"While some patients who suffer from presumed treatment-resistant hypertension might achieve blood pressure control with an antihypertensive drug regimen, some particularly difficult-to-treat cases may remain uncontrolled despite maximal drug therapy," said Roland Schmieder, M.D., professor of internal medicine, nephrology and hypertension and head of the clinical research center hypertension and vascular medicine at the department of nephrology and hypertension of the University Hospital Erlangen in Germany, and co-chair of the Power Over Pressure Steering Committee. "It can be an extremely frustrating and expensive condition to manage for both physicians and patients. It is our goal that PowerOverPressure.com becomes the premier resource for supporting best practices to improve diagnosis accuracy and actively treat this growing, high-risk patient population."
ABOUT POWER OVER PRESSURE
Developed by a team of global experts in hypertension, Power Over Pressure is a global campaign to advance the diagnosis and management of treatment-resistant hypertension, a debilitating and potentially life-threatening disease affecting nearly 120 million people worldwide.1, 2 Power Over Pressure is endorsed by the American Society of Hypertension and the European Society of Hypertension. For more information, please visit PowerOverPressure.com.
Power Over Pressure is supported by Medtronic, Inc., the global leader in medical technology.
1 Egan, Brent M., et al. "Uncontrolled and Apparent Treatment Resistant Hypertension in the United States, 1988-2008." Circulation 2011;124:1046-1058.
2 Hypertension and cardiovascular disease. World Heart Federation. 2011. http://www.world-heart-federation.org/ cardiovascular-health/cardiovascular- disease-risk-factors/hypertension/. Accessed March 2, 2012.
3 Doumas, Michael, et al. "Benefits from Treatment and Control of Patients with Resistant Hypertension." International Journal of Hypertension 2011 (2011) Article ID 318549, 8 pages, 2011. doi:10.4061/2011/318549.
4 Calhoun, David, et al. Resistant Hypertension: Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment : A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association Professional Education Committee of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research. Circulation. 2008;117:e510-e526.
SOURCE Power Over Pressure