These stories on the success of a Florida physician in practice, tips for controlling hypertension in black patients and young adults going untreated were popular among AMA Wire® readers in 2017. Here is a look at some of the most widely read hypertension stories of the past year.
4 ways to partner with black patients to control hypertension. Physician practices seeking to improve the blood-pressure control rates among their black patients should pay special attention to an evidence-based framework for hypertension management that emphasizes the essential role of patient-physician communication, says a cardiologist who has long studied racial and ethnic health disparities in heart disease. His advice included the following:
- Do not take patients’ health literacy for granted.
- If patients seem unable to follow the treatment plan, involve other family members in their care.
- Talk to patients about the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan —and follow up with literature about it.
- Explain to patients the long-term risks of hypertension.
The incidence of hypertension is dramatically higher among black patients than it is in the U.S. general population—about 44 percent versus 33 percent—and early onset is more frequent.