Lifestyle change at heart of Dallas practice’s BP-control efforts

Even with an increase in the number of patients with hypertension (46 percent), an emphasis remains on the need for lifestyle change in blood pressure (BP) management rather than solely on pharmaceutical treatments. One Dallas-based medical practice’s biggest change to hypertension management has been related to lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise. 

Foremost Family Health Clinic (FFHC), which received Gold Status recognition from the American Heart Association and AMA Target: BP Recognition Program in 2017, provides patients with monthly classes and activities to improve patient care and lower BP. With the aim of giving patients a better understanding of necessary lifestyle changes for hypertension management, classes range from shopping excursions to cooking classes.

Editor’s note: This story is featured as part of a topic hub that centralizes the AMA’s essential tools, resources and content to help you in Targeting Hypertension. Explore other Medical Topics That Matter.
“The hypertension guideline strongly emphasizes lifestyle measures like following the DASH diet, and helping people with weight loss and exercise,” family physician and associate medical director, Lindsay Martin-Engel, MD, MPH, said. “We try to encourage that first, and if people need extra peer support or education, we refer them to our Healthy Lifestyle University.”

“It’s really only after the patient has given a full effort on those lifestyle measures that we have to talk about medication,” she added.  

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