Department of Veterans Affairs Hypertension Meeting : A Proposal for Improved Care

H. M. Perry, E. D. Freis, E. D. Frohlich
2000 Hypertension  
A major invitational hypertension meeting was hosted by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in Washington, DC, on May 26 to 28, 1999. It followed a report that only 25% of hypertensive veterans had adequate levels of treated blood pressure and focused on how control of hypertension could be improved both immediately and in the future. After the presentation of brief outlines of 5 unresolved basic science questions, 2 general topics were considered: (1) 30 years of change in hypertension and
more » ... its treatment and (2) current healthcare delivery mechanisms and how to improve them. Since 1970, the severity of hypertension has decreased, malignant hypertension has disappeared, and the prognostic roles of systolic and diastolic blood pressure have been reversed as hypertension became milder. Five VA Cooperative Studies have provided important data: the 1970 Freis Trial report demonstrated the value of treatment, 2 trials showed that some controlled patients can decrease or even discontinue pharmacological treatment without recrudescent hypertension, a blinded trial was performed on the efficacy of different antihypertensive drugs, and an unblinded trial showed that diuretics and ␤-blockers are the most effective agents when caregivers choose the agent and dose. Two healthcare models were considered: (1) the patient-friendly VA Hypertension Screening and Treatment Program that was introduced in 1972, which controls 80% of patients at the goal of the Joint National Committee on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure with diuretics and keeps patients in the program an average of 7.5 years, and (2) the newer primary care health maintenance organization-like model in the VA and throughout the United States. Choosing a regimen and monitoring control of blood pressure and compliance with therapy were discussed. The meeting was closed with 6 general recommendations for improving the care of hypertensive patients. (Hypertension. 2000;35:853-857.)
doi:10.1161/01.hyp.35.4.853 pmid:10775550 fatcat:5wn27vq6ejgxzpwiobatcffnje