Approximately 1 in 15 young adults have high blood pressure, and they have lowest rates of blood pressure control compared to other adult age groups, putting them at risk for a future heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, and/or kidney disease. To help address this issue, Dr. Heather Johnson and her team recently launched a new website, MyHEART, that aims to help young adults with high blood pressure live a healthier life, lower their blood pressure, and prevent heart disease. A toolkit with information for providers and administrators about how they can use and promote the website with patients is also available.
Dr. Christie Bartels was recently awarded a 2.5 year Pfizer Independent Grant for Learning and Change for her project, "Systems-based CVD prevention protocols for rheumatology teams: A low-cost multidisciplinary approach." The goal of the project is to improve management of modifiable cardiovascular disease risk factors as a path to improve the cardiovascular health and survival of patients with rheumatic diseases. The project will apply evidence-based staff-driven protocols in RA clinic visits to improve management of hypertension and tobacco use. This QI project responds to the aim of the Pfizer program to support "screening for and modification of modifiable CVD risk factors in RA patients."
In research recently presented by Dr. Christie Bartels et al. at the American College of Rheumatology 2013 Annual Meeting, uncontrolled blood pressure was addressed in less than 1 of 3 rheumatology visits even when blood pressure exceeded 160/100 mmHg, despite the fact that patients with rheumatoid arthritis have increased cardiovascular risk.