Albany Med Focuses on Hypertension as a ‘Silent Killer’
ALBANY, N.Y., June 19, 2013 — The nearly 400-member Albany Medical Center Faculty Physician Group is embarking on a project to combat a “silent killer” that impacts more than one in three Americans and is a leading cause of strokes, heart attacks, and other serious illnesses.
The project to improve the treatment of high blood pressure is designed to reach every patient seen by Albany Med physicians. “Even though you can’t feel it, high blood pressure can truly cuts people’s lives short,” said cardiologist Ferdinand Venditti, M.D., vice dean for clinical affairs and head of the Faculty Physician Practice.
Dr. Venditti said that in 2012 the Practice saw more than 22,000 patients with the diagnosis of hypertension and roughly 40 percent of them, including many people under age 40, had had high blood pressure readings despite treatment.
“Sometimes higher readings can be due to nerves or ”the white coat syndrome,” but every reading above the norm of 120 over 80 is of concern and needs to be followed up on,” he said.
Albany Med physicians will be coordinating efforts with primary care physicians and working to raise awareness of hypertension-related illnesses for the more than 7,000 employees of Albany Medical Center and the hundreds of patients who come through Albany Med facilities every day.
Dr. Venditti said bringing the numbers down by even 5 or 10 points can make a dramatic difference in an individual’s risk of stroke or heart attack. According to Arif Asif, M.D., chief of Nephrology and Hypertension, good medications are available and blood pressure can be controlled with lifestyle changes.
“Control your weight, exercise, eat sensibly, including cutting down on salt which is hidden in high doses in prepared foods, limit alcohol, and don’t smoke,” Dr. Asif said.
Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 651-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals, and also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region’s largest physicians practice with 350 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region’s health and quality of life. For more information: www.amc.edu or www.facebook.com/albanymedicalcenter.
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