Sovah Health among first hospitals to present new national blood pressure guidelines

January 25, 2018

Sovah Health announced it will be hosting its first continuing medical education program for 2018 titled “High Blood Pressure: New Guidelines for the New Year” on Thursday, February 1 at Hoover Auditorium at Sovah Health - Danville. The symposium, which will feature three leading national experts on hypertension, will educate area physicians and healthcare professionals on new blood pressure guidelines released by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) in November 2017. Sovah Health is one of the first community hospital systems nationwide to have these guidelines presented to its medical and nursing staff.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most treatable risk factors for stroke, heart failure. heart attack, and kidney failure. The new guidelines for the detection prevention, management and treatment of high blood pressure – the most comprehensive set released since 2003 - lower the definition of high blood pressure, or hypertension, from 140/90 mm Hg to 130/80. Authors of the new guidelines estimate that the new definition will result in nearly half of the US adult population (46 percent) having higher than optimal blood pressure. Specifically, the prevalence of high blood pressure is expected to triple among men under age 45 and double among women under 45.

“High blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease are extremely common across our region,” said Michael Moore, MD, Director of Continuing Medical Education at Sovah Health. “Sovah Health felt it important that we be at the forefront in educating our healthcare professionals on these new guidelines as we work to prevent and treat heart disease across our region.”

In addition to redefining blood pressure categories, the guidelines recommend earlier treatment and additional follow-up for hypertensive patients – beginning with lifestyle changes for most patients and medication for some. Experts believe earlier intervention of high blood pressure will result in long term cardiovascular disease prevention.

The symposium features three national speakers including: Edward Roccella, PhD, Former Director of the NHLBI High Blood Pressure Education Program; Daniel Lackland, PhD, President of the World Hypertension League; and Robert Carey, MD, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at University of Virginia Health System. Dr. Carey was a co-author of the new AHA ACC Guidelines. The program also will be simulcast to Sovah Health – Martinsville.  

If you’re a healthcare professional interested in attending the event, please register by calling 434.799.3705 and leave your name, affiliation. Please indicate that you wish to attend the February 1 HBP Guideline Program.