Taskforce seeks to double blood pressure control rates by 2030

Matt Woodley

20/12/2022 3:29:29 PM

Only half of the people in Australia with high blood pressure know they have it, and of those, only 32% have it under control.

GP prepares to take patient’s blood pressure.
One in three Australian adults have high blood pressure.

A new multi-disciplinary team of practitioners has set the goal of doubling Australia’s rate of controlled blood pressure (BP) rates over the next seven years.
The National Hypertension Taskforce, comprising 27 members representing 25 different organisations, will aim to increase BP control rates from 32% to 70% by 2030, with general practice set to play a key role.
Professor Nigel Stocks, Head of the Discipline of General Practice at the University of Adelaide, is part of the Taskforce and will assist in the development of its long-term strategy.
‘Hypertension is a commonly treated condition in Australian general practice, which is more common as people get older but can have tragic consequences if not identified in younger age groups,’ he said.
‘Australians should get their blood pressure measured every two years from age 18 and after you turn 45 it should be part of a cardiovascular disease risk assessment that can be performed by your GP.
‘High blood pressure is readily treatable. Losing weight, reducing alcohol consumption, stopping smoking, exercising more and dietary change can all help, but many people will need one or more antihypertensive medication to achieve adequate control.’
Professor Stocks will also support approaches to maximise engagement with GPs around the country, which Taskforce co-lead Professor Alta Schutte said will be a vital part of reaching the goal.
‘It is in primary care where hypertension is directly managed, and we need to identify the key implementation barriers and address those if we were ever to be successful,’ she said.
‘Nigel Stocks is a highly respected collaborator and primary care expert invited onto the Taskforce to provide exactly these perspectives – to liaise with the primary care community and bring these back to inform the roadmap to achieve 70% BP control by 2030.’
She also said the Taskforce will focus on updating practice guidelines to support hypertension management according to the latest evidence, as well as review financial models to ensure fair compensation and best patient care.
‘Most of all we are highly interested in perspectives and challenges that GPs in Australia experience to determine how to improve and navigate those,’ Professor Schutte said.
‘The primary care community will thus be a key partner in the Taskforce.’
One in three Australian adults have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, which is the leading risk factor for three of Australia’s leading causes of death – coronary heart disease, stroke and dementia.
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