FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SHAPE Observes First "Texas Blood Pressure Day" Event by Urging Everyone to Check for High Blood Pressure Regularly
August 26, 2013, HOUSTON, TX - Approximately one in three adults in the United States has high blood pressure and more than 20% don't even know they have it. Known as the silent killer, there are often no symptoms until the heart, arteries, and other organs are already damaged. And because of the obesity epidemic, more and more children are developing high blood pressure at earlier and earlier ages.
In the United States, blood pressure readings of less than 120/80 are considered normal. Readings between 120/80 and 139/89 are considered pre-hypertension. Anything above this level is regarded as hypertension, a serious medical condition requiring a doctor's care.
That's why periodically checking your pressure is so important. In recent studies, researchers determined that consistent tracking your own and your family's blood pressure at home can help control hypertension. These days, this potentially life-saving practice has become easier as the cost of home blood pressure monitors has diminished and accuracy has been improved.
“Both blood pressure and atherosclerosis are silent killers, blood pressure is silent until heart failure or a stroke occurs, and atherosclerosis is silent until a heart attack or sudden death occurs. As the present standard of treatment often cares for patients only after heart, vascular or kidney damage occurs, reimbursement policies need to be changed to help detect and prevent these silent killers before damage is allowed to happen" said Dr. Morteza Naghavi, the founder of SHAPE and the Executive Chairman of the SHAPE Task Force that calls for an overhaul of existing cardiovascular healthcare policies.
Lifestyle changes are the cornerstone for preventing or controlling hypertension. These include reducing your use of salt and alcohol as well as maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, and the elimination of smoking. However, if your blood pressure readings are very high or you have been unsuccessful at controlling your pressure through lifestyle changes, your doctor may prescribe anti-hypertension medications.
For more information on hypertension see: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db107.htm
ABOUT THE SHAPE TASK FORCE
The SHAPE Task Force, an international group of leading cardiovascular physicians and researchers, has created the SHAPE Guidelines, which educates physicians how to identify asymptomatic atherosclerosis (hidden plaque) and implement proper treatment to prevent a future heart attack. According to the SHAPE Guidelines, individuals with high risk atherosclerosis (high plaque score) should be treated even if their cholesterol level is within the so called “normal range”. Knowing one's plaque score is important. In fact, it can be a matter of life and death! Additional information is available by calling 1-877-SHAPE11. Additional information is available at www.shapesociety.org.
The SHAPE Task Force includes the following:
Morteza Naghavi, M.D. – Executive Chairman
PK Shah, M.D. – Chair of Scientific Board
Erling Falk, M.D., Ph.D. – Chief of Editorial Committee
SHAPE Task Force Members:
Arthur Agatston, M.D., Dan Arking, Ph.D., Juan J. Badimon, Ph.D., Raymond Bahr, M.D., Daniel S. Berman, M.D., Roger S. Blumenthal, M.D., Matthew J. Budoff, M.D., Jay N. Cohn, M.D., Michael H. Davidson, M.D., George A. Diamond, M.D., James Ehrlich, M.D., Raimund Erbel, M.D., Erling Falk, M.D., Ph.D., Zahi Fayad, Ph.D., Sergio Fazio, MD, PhD, Steven B. Feinstein, M.D., Craig Hartley, Ph.D., Harvey S. Hecht, M.D., Howard Hodis, M.D., Ioannis Kakadiaris, Ph.D., Sanjay Kaul, M.D., M.P.H., Asher Kimchi. M.D., Wolfgang Koenig, M.D., Ph.D., Iftikhar J. Kullo, M.D., Daniel Lane, M.D., Ph.D., Roxana Mehran, M.D., Ralph Metcalfe, Ph.D., Morteza Naghavi, M.D., Tasneem Z. Naqvi, M.D., Jagat Narula, M.D., Paolo Raggi, M.D., George P. Rodgers, M.D., James HF Rudd, Ph.D., John Rumberger, M.D., Ph.D., Robert S. Schwartz, M.D., PK Shah, M.D., Leslee Shaw, M.D., Henrik Sillesen, M.D., Ph.D., David Spence, M.D., H. Robert Superko, M.D., Allen Taylor, M.D., Pierre-Jean Touboul, M.D.
Distinguished SHAPE Task Force Advisor: Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D.
Chair of SHAPE Board of Directors: JoAnne Zawitoski
SHAPE Task Force Executive Coordinator and SHAPE CEO: Richard Hellner
Executive Director of SHAPE Center of Excellence: Jeff Fine, Ph.D.