This white paper is an urgent call to action from an international group of physicians. The continued failure to control hypertension takes an unacceptable toll on patients, families and society and it must be addressed. Any patient with blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or greater can be characterized as a 'challenging patient', is at significant risk, and requires persistent optimization of therapy until target blood pressure is achieved. Six key challenges in reaching this goal blood pressure are described: (1) inadequate primary prevention; (2) faulty awareness of risk; (3) lack of simplicity; (4) therapeutic inertia; (5) insufficient patient empowerment; and (6) unsupportive healthcare systems. This white paper identifies straightforward actions that will produce rapid improvements in the management of hypertension, with a simple aim: to treat all challenging patients effectively to goal blood pressure, preventing disability and saving lives.
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