Research Update of Behavioral Interventions for Essential Hypertension: The Role of Cognitive Factors

  • Candace M. Jeavons
  • Arthur R. Zeiner


Although mortality from heart disease in the United States has been declining in the past decade, it still accounts for more deaths than all other diseases combined (U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, 1979). Elevated blood pressure is the single biggest contributory cause in the form of strokes, heart attacks, and renal failure (National Institutes of Health, 1979). It is estimated that 60 million people suffer from elevated blood pressure (140/90 mmHg or greater). Of these 60 million people, 35 million have definite hypertension (160/95 mmHg or greater) and another 25 million have borderline hypertension (140/90 to 159/94 mmHg). Epidemiological findings from the Fra-mingham study (Kannel, 1977) confirmed that hypertension is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD). In over 90% of the cases of hypertension, classified as “primary” or “essential” hypertension, the etiology is unknown. In such cases, symptoms (elevated blood pressure) are treated with diuretics, alpha and beta blockers, vasodilators, and/or combinations of the above in a stepped-care approach. Behavioral interventions as either alternatives or adjuncts to medical treatment are increasingly being utilized in efforts to prevent sustained high blood pressures which increase morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular and renal complications.


Essential Hypertension Behavioral Intervention Blood Pressure Control Behavioral Medicine Blood Pressure Response 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Candace M. Jeavons
    • 1
  • Arthur R. Zeiner
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Oklahoma Health Sciences CenterOklahoma CityUSA

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