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American College of Physicians Releases New Resource to Help Patients Managing High Blood Pressure

Guidebook and DVD help patients understand causes, risk factors, and lifestyle changes to control hypertension

PHILADELPHIA, April 21, 2009 -- The American College of Physicians (ACP) today released "Know Your Numbers: A Guide to Managing High Blood Pressure." Available for free to ACP member physicians to distribute to patients and their families, the guidebook and accompanying DVD -- featuring sportscaster James Brown -- will help patients learn about high blood pressure, what steps to take to control it, and how to lower the risk of heart and blood vessel problems.

Roughly one in every three adults has high blood pressure -- also called hypertension -- a serious medical condition in which the pressure against the walls of the blood vessels is too high. Hypertension raises the risk for heart and kidney disease, stroke, and many other medical problems.

"As the guidebook and DVD show, there are many ways to effectively treat high blood pressure," said Patrick C. Alguire, MD, FACP, ACP's director of education and career development. "Almost everyone with hypertension can bring their numbers down with lifestyle changes, medicines, or both."

Many people do not realize that they have high blood pressure because it is often "silent" with no obvious symptoms. For most people (about 95 percent), no single "cause" of high blood pressure is found. That's because hypertension is usually influenced by many factors, such as family history, diet, weight, and lifestyle habits. The risk of hypertension rises with age: even people with normal blood pressure at age 55 have a 90 percent chance of having high blood pressure later in life.

"It is important to get checked for hypertension," said Dr. Alguire. "It's a quick, painless, and simple measurement."

"Know Your Numbers: A Guide to Managing High Blood Pressure" is sponsored by Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. ACP members can order the guidebook and DVD for free by calling ACP Customer Service at 800-523-1546, extension 2600, or through ACP's Web site (www.acponline.org).

At Internal Medicine 2009 from April 23-25 in Philadelphia, all of ACP's 14 patient education titles will be available for free for attendees at the Patient Education Booth in the Exhibit Hall of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 126,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection and treatment of illness in adults.

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