Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blood Pressure Out of Control for Too Many Utahns

(Salt Lake City, UT) – This month’s Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds the majority of people with high blood pressure are taking medication yet their condition remains uncontrolled. Uncontrolled high blood pressure (HBP) is a major contributor to heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death in the U.S. and Utah.

“While Utah fares better than the nation, this is still a major concern,” says Athena Carolan, Health Program Specialist with the Utah Department of Health’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program (HDSPP). “More than one-third (36.3%) of Utah commercial health plan enrollees with high blood pressure do not have their disease under control.”

The report finds one successful approach to controlling HBP is using team-based care. This system brings together pharmacists, nurses, dietitians, and community health workers to support doctors in identifying and treating patients. “We understand the value of this approach and are exploring partnerships with pharmacies and community health workers to help Utahns get a handle on their blood pressure,” said Carolan. 

Individuals can take control of their HBP by following doctor’s instructions for medications and treatment. 
In Utah, 1 in 4 adults have high blood pressure, which is defined as blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 mm-Hg. People with high blood pressure are four times more likely to die from a stroke and three times more likely to die from heart disease. 

For more information about how to control high blood pressure, visit

Media Contact:
Athena Carolan
HDSPP Health Specialist
(801) 538-9209