Friday, November 5, 2021

AHA Aims to Reduce Inequities Related to Hypertension

Upon the founding of the American Heart Association (AHA) in 1924, one of its six founders, Dr. Paul Dudley White, suggested that the medical profession had “almost unbelievable ignorance” on the topic of heart disease. Since then, the organization has worked to improve awareness and knowledge around the disease, and has identified new causes and related conditions through ongoing research. 

As part of these efforts, AHA launched the National Hypertension Control Initiative to address hypertension, which can lead to heart disease. The initiative will spread awareness and promote prevention and treatment.

Why Is Hypertension an Issue?

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, impacts nearly half of the adult population in the United States. The condition disproportionately affects Black and Latinx individuals almost twice as much as people in other communities, due to genetics, health concerns, environmental issues, and socioeconomic factors that can affect health. 

How Can the Initiative Address Hypertension?

In response to the prevalence of the condition, the initiative aims to reach impacted communities with a strategy that includes a few approaches. The program aims to provide resources directly to the public with information on how to stay healthy, detect hypertension, and seek treatment. Additionally, AHA will partner with community organizations to set up locations where residents can receive screenings and learn about the disease. Finally, the initiative recruits healthcare providers working in underserved communities to promote healthy practices and treatments.

What Is the Initiative’s Goal?

Ultimately, the initiative seeks to reduce the number of people in need of treatment for hypertension. This will have the spillover effect of reducing heart disease, including heart attack and stroke. It will also improve the health of individuals living in communities with higher risk. 

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