Hypertension – Time for Patients to Control the Wheel

June 15, 2018

Traditionally, the management of hypertension requires routine blood pressure checks by a health professional to adjust medications. Could self-monitoring lead to better outcomes?  Would a greater percentage of patients achieve their goal blood pressure (BP)?  Self-monitoring may be an efficient method to improve blood pressure control; however, results from published reports are inconsistent. The authors of the TASMINH4 study sought to compare the effectiveness of three different approaches to BP monitoring.

Guest Authors:  Vicky Shah, PharmD, BCPS and Daniel Longyhore, MS, PharmD, BCPS

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Strategies for Managing Hypertension: Is the Paradigm Shifting?

May 10, 2018

Forty-five percent of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure — that’s more than 100 million people! Of those treated with pharmacotherapy, more than half are not achieving their blood pressure goals. Thus, millions of Americans are receiving suboptimal care.  A recently published systematic review and meta-analysis examined various implementation strategies to improve BP control in patients with high blood pressure. Which implementation strategies work best?

Guest Author: Lauren G Pamulapati, PharmD

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SPRINTing towards lower BP goals : A re-analysis of the ACCORD-BP trial

February 2, 2018

The new 2017 ACC/AHA guidelines recommend a BP goal of <130/80 mmHg for everyone – including patients with diabetes. The 2018 ADA guidelines also recommend a goal of <130/80 mmHg, but only in patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease and only when it can be achieved without undue treatment burden. This change in recommendations is largely driven by results of the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT), which demonstrated a 25% reduction in the primary composite outcome of CV events with intensive BP control (SBP target <120 mmHg). However, extrapolating these findings to patients with T2DM has been challenging as patients with diabetes were excluded from SPRINT. A recent re-analysis of the ACCORD-BP study shed some new light.

Guest Authors: Kevin Cowart, Pharm.D. and Karen Sando, Pharm.D.

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Top Ten Things Every Clinician Should Know About the 2017 Hypertension Guidelines

December 15, 2017

We interview Eric MacLaughlin, Joseph Saseen, and Kristin Rieser about the ACC/AHA Guidelines for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure in Adults released in November 2017.  Dr. MacLaughin, a member of the Guideline Writing Committee, gives a insiders view of the guidelines development process and explains the rationale for lower blood pressure goals.  Drs. Saseen and Rieser talk about some of the practical considerations that we all must consider as we move forward to making these recommendations a reality.

Guests:  Kristin Rieser, Pharm.D., Joseph Saseen, Pharm.D, and Eric MacLaughlin, Pharm.D.

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Think Before You Make a RAS Decision: Evaluating the Use of RAS Blockers in Patients with Diabetes

February 24, 2017

Hypertension affects more than 70% of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and further increases the risk of cardiovascular disease in this high-risk population. While renin angiotensin system (RAS) blockers are clearly indicated in patients with heart failure, chronic kidney disease with proteinuria, and coronary artery disease (CAD), experts have come to different conclusions regarding their role as initial antihypertensive therapy for patients with diabetes.

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PATHWAY-2: Does the road lead to spironolactone for resistant hypertension?

June 3, 2016

Resistant hypertension (RH) is frequently encountered in primary care practice and often presents a significant clinical challenge because limited evidence-based guidance exists. RH is a major cause of cardiovascular disease and death, and has been associated with a 50% increased risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, congestive heart failure, and chronic kidney disease when compared to patients without RH. The American Heart Association defines RH as uncontrolled BP despite maximal treatment with a three-drug regimen, ideally including a diuretic. The exact prevalence of RH is unknown, but large randomized controlled trials suggest it affects one in five patients with elevated BP.  Previous research findings suggest chlorthalidone, spironolactone, and eplerenone are all effective add-on therapies when BP remains uncontrolled with typical first line agents.  The Pathway-2 study provides the first direct comparative evaluation of three different four-drug antihypertensive regimens.


Pulling Ahead After a SPRINT – Evidence for Lower Blood Pressure Goals

February 10, 2016

The debate over the intensity of blood pressure (BP) lowering for patients with hypertension has been going on for decades.  Additional fuel to the fire was recently added with the early halt and publication of the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT).  So “how low should you go” for patients with high BP? Do lower BP goals reduce CV outcomes and death, particularly in patients at high risk?  Do they cause greater adverse effects? Or perhaps even worsen CV outcomes? These questions were examined in SPRINT.