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Landmark hypertension study launches extensive physician and patient education program

Researchers in the largest high blood pressure clinical trial ever conducted are launching a comprehensive outreach program to improve high blood pressure control nationwide. About 150 physicians in 34 states and Washington, DC, have completed training to educate other physicians in their communities. Their goal: to help doctors and patients prevent and better treat high blood pressure.

The new $3.7 million, three-year educational effort is a follow-up to the landmark Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT) and is being implemented in collaboration with the National High Blood Pressure Education Program (NHBPEP). Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, the ALLHAT blood pressure study compared the effects of four major classes of medications to treat high blood pressure. More than 42,000 patients ages 55 and older participated. The main results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in December 2002 and played a central role in NHBPEP's revision of the clinical practice guidelines on high blood pressure released in May 2003 (Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure).

"It often takes years for the results of major studies to become part of standard health care," notes NHLBI director Elizabeth G. Nabel, MD. "The results of ALLHAT and the clinical guidelines could have an enormous impact on the health of millions of Americans. We are confident that by playing a more active role in sharing the information, we will be able to put the results into action more quickly and more effectively."

An estimated 65 million American adults nearly one in three -- have high blood pressure. But, for more than two-thirds of them, blood pressure remains out of control. High blood pressure leads to more than half of all heart attacks, stroke
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Contact: NHLBI Communications Office
NHLBI_news@nhlbi.nih.gov
301-496-4236
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
1-Feb-2006


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