PAHO Releases Compendium to Enhance Cardiovascular and Hypertension Management in the Americas

Bp Male Patient
Male Patient having his blood pressure checked

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has introduced a comprehensive set of resources titled “HEARTS in the Americas: Compendium of essential clinical tools 2023.” This collection is designed to assist healthcare teams across the Americas in improving the management of cardiovascular risk conditions and hypertension in primary healthcare settings.

The compendium offers tools for accurate blood pressure measurement, hypertension diagnosis, treatment initiation, adjustment, and assessment of cardiovascular complications. These tools are crafted to be user-friendly and are available in both English and Spanish, catering to a wide range of healthcare professionals in the region.

Hypertension is identified by PAHO as the primary risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, which are the leading cause of death in the Americas. Alarmingly, only 36 per cent of adults with hypertension in the region have their blood pressure under control. PAHO emphasizes that improving this statistic to 50 per cent could prevent approximately 400,000 deaths related to heart and cerebrovascular diseases.

The HEARTS initiative, a global strategy of the World Health Organization (WHO), has been actively promoted by PAHO in the Americas since 2016. Its aim is to assist countries in enhancing cardiovascular health. To date, 33 countries and over 4,000 primary healthcare units in the region have committed to implementing the HEARTS initiative. PAHO has developed various technical resources to support these efforts, with the compendium being the latest addition.

A recent review article in the journal Current Hypertension Reports highlights the significant role of health systems, particularly primary care, in improving cardiovascular health and hypertension control through the HEARTS initiative. The review points to encouraging outcomes, such as increased hypertension control coverage compared to conventional methods.

Pedro Ordúñez, PAHO cardiovascular disease advisor, underscores the importance of effective management of hypertension and cardiovascular risk in preventing severe health issues. He asserts that the compendium is a valuable tool for healthcare teams, empowering them to improve hypertension control and save lives.

As PAHO continues to spearhead the HEARTS initiative in the Americas, this compendium represents a crucial step towards alleviating the burden of noncommunicable diseases in the region. The organization remains dedicated to enhancing healthcare systems and providing the necessary resources to combat cardiovascular diseases effectively.

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