, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 384-390

Expanding the definition of hypertension to incorporate global cardiovascular risk

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Recent epidemiologic analyses have changed the way that hypertension is viewed. Cardiovascular risk has been found to be elevated at levels of blood pressure previously believed to be normal and not imparting additional risk. Furthermore, the approach to hypertension has been shifted from viewing and treating it in isolation to a more comprehensive approach that incorporates a focus on global cardiovascular risk and the risk factors commonly associated with having an elevated blood pressure. However, control rates not only for hypertension but also for associated risk factors, such as hyperlipidemia and diabetes, remain abysmal, providing an even greater challenge to providers of care. To change this alarming trend, physicians must become aggressive in using the available armamentarium of lifestyle modifications and drugs in treating hypertension and other risk factors that increase the burden of atherosclerosis.