Dr Mary Ann Bauman Outlines the New Hypertension Guidelines Awareness Campaign

As the American Heart Association (AHA) rolls out its new hypertension guidelines, it has developed a 2-pronged approach for how to get the message out and drive awareness about the new guidelines and recommended lifestyle changes, explained Mary Ann Bauman, MD, of AHA.

How does the American Heart Association’s partnership with the Ad Council raise public awareness about high blood pressure?
I’m really excited about the Ad Council campaign, because what we want to do is create a sense of urgency in patients to understand that hypertension, high blood pressure, is dangerous. And even though they feel perfectly fine, the disease just marches along. So, we want to create the sense of urgency by showing people real-life people who have had the consequences of blood pressure that is not at ideal levels.

How is the American Heart Association spreading the word about the new hypertension guidelines to physicians?
We’re working with the American Medical Association to get the word out to physicians with the guidelines. We have new apps that will go to physicians to let them figure out exactly how best to handle their patients with these new guidelines. So, we’re doing a 2-pronged approached: we’re doing to patients and we’re also doing to healthcare professionals. So, everyone can start to understand what the new guidelines are and why they are so important.

Will many more people need medication under the new hypertension guidelines?
What we’re doing with the new guidelines that we don’t expect too many more people to need medication, what we really want people to understand is the lifestyle—they need to know they have high blood pressure, and then make lifestyle changes. And, then, some people will need medications, but we’re not expecting that huge numbers will.
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