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Medical School: Univ Of Ca, Los Angeles, Ucla Sch Of Med, Los Angeles Ca 90024
Graduation Year: 1995
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Group Practice: Horizon Vascular
Medical School: Univ Of Wa Sch Of Med, Seattle Wa 98195
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Medical School: Aratov Med Inst, Saratov, Russia
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Medical School: Emory Univ Sch Of Med
Year of Graduation: 1989
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Medical School: Northwestern Univ Med Sch, Chicago Il 60611
Graduation Year: 1956
Hospital: Kennestone Hosp, Marietta, Ga
A World Under Pressure
Culture and language may divide us, but one thing that people share no matter where
Industrialized countries are continuing to see their sedentary, fast-food-consuming populations bloat with obesity, and developing nations are picking up the bad health habits of the west. The sum of those disturbing pieces of news is a problem of global proportions.
From the Americas to Africa, the number of people with chronically high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) is growing, threatening a global epidemic of cardiovascular disease. “Until recently, we thought that hypertension was a problem predominantly in North America, Western Europe and Japan. But it’s prevalent in many countries, especially those in Africa, including South Africa, and in Eastern Europe and Latin America,” says Michael Weber, MD, professor of medicine at State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. He also co-authored High Blood Pressure and Health Policy: Where We Are and Where We Need to Go Next, an international report released in May 2007 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
About 1 billion people in the world have high blood pressure, with 60% more expected by 2025, the report states. Just over half of the 72 million Americans with hypertension are women, who are also three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. This disorder hits African Americans earlier and more seriously than any other ethnic group. Also sobering is the fact that blood pressure is excessive among 19% of kids who are, on average, 13 1/2 years old.
“We’re talking about populations around the world that have become more sedentary in their lifestyles and are consuming significantly more calories than they did a few decades ago,” says Weber. “Countries like India, Malaysia and Vietnam have become industrialized, transitioning from a fairly simple lifestyle to a highly urbanized one. As people have migrated from rural areas into cities, they eat more fast food and walk less, and their blood pressure goes up dramatically.
“Most of the measures that health experts in many countries have taken to address high blood pressure at the patient level—primarily issuing guidelines for how far blood pressure should be reduced in hypertensive patients and also recommending drugs that can help achieve these goals—haven’t been as successful as they should’ve been,” Weber continues. “The problem has been that the guidelines have often been ignored for a variety of reasons, including limited patient access to medical care, cost, indifference on the part of both patients and doctors, and the use of inexpensive older drugs that often cause side effects. It’s a serious ...