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South Med J. 2004 Oct;97(10):932-8.

A systematic approach to managing hypertension and the metabolic syndrome in primary care.

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Low Country Medical Group, Beaufort, SC, USA.



Obesity is driving a high prevalence of hypertension and metabolic syndrome-related risk and disease. This report summarizes the impact of a standardized, evidence-based approach to managing high blood pressure and associated metabolic syndrome abnormalities that was developed and implemented by one Clinical Hypertension Specialist.


Longitudinal data on blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), cardiovascular and renal comorbidities, and treatment medications were obtained on all 817 hypertensive patients seen from January 1, 2000 to June 30, 2003.


The hypertensive patients were 72 +/- 11 (SD) years old, and more than 55% of them were high risk based on target organ damage, clinical cardiovascular disease, or diabetes mellitus. Blood pressure was < 140/90 mm Hg in 77% of all patients. Among the high-risk patients, mean blood pressure was 126 +/- 14/71 +/- 10 on 2.8 +/- 1.4 antihypertensive medications, with 88% on angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers, 59% on diuretics, 49% on calcium channel blockers, and 36% on beta-blockers. Among dyslipidemic hypertensives, LDL-C was controlled to < 130 mg/dL in 84% (510/605) overall and to < 100 mg/dL in 70% of the high-risk group (299/427). Among diabetic hypertensives, the mean HbA1c was 6.8%, with 64% (155/242) less than 7%. New patients demonstrated improved blood pressure, LDL-C, and hemoglobin A1c control over time as the management algorithm was applied.


A high prevalence of complicated hypertension was documented. Blood pressure, LDL-C, and HbA1c were controlled to goal in a high proportion of patients. The findings demonstrate that application of an evidence-based management algorithm can facilitate higher rates of cardiovascular risk factor control than are generally reported in primary care practices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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