High blood pressure is a fairly common health issue in our culture. In fact, one in three Americans has high blood pressure, defined as blood pressure readings of 140/90 mmHg or greater. Roughly 67 million people are affected. With advancements in medication therapy and awareness of lifestyle modifications, many patients are able to control their high blood pressure and help reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events like stroke, heart attack and other damaging health conditions. However, for an estimated 13 percent of those with high blood pressure, medication and lifestyle modifications are not enough. This portion of the population may have resistant hypertension. Oklahoma Heart Institute announced the opening of the Resistant Hypertension Clinic to combat this serious problem across several disciplines, led by Dr. Ralph Duda and Dr. Robert Smith, the state's only board certified hypertension specialists.
“Resistant Hypertension is blood pressure that remains above goal despite concurrent use of three antihypertensive agents of different classes (one of which being a diuretic), or blood pressure that is controlled with four or more medications,” explains board certified interventional cardiologist and clinical hypertension specialist, Dr. Robert Smith. “If improperly treated, resistant hypertension can lead to stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure, renal failure, and a host of other problems that may result in devastating consequences for the patient. At Oklahoma Heart Institute, we are committed to providing the highest quality of cardiovascular care. We are pleased to announce the opening of our new Resistant Hypertension Clinic.”
Treating high blood pressure is something that needs to be evaluated from several different angles when medication therapy and lifestyle modification fail to control blood pressure levels. The Resistant Hypertension Clinic at Oklahoma Heart Institute offers patients a multidisciplinary approach. “Staffed by uniquely trained board certified clinical hypertension specialists, our clinic offers evaluation for secondary causes, medication and diet modification, comprehensive patient education and frequent follow-up visits (if needed) for evaluation of white-coat and masked hypertension,” says Dr. Smith. “Thanks to a multidisciplinary approach utilizing OHI cardiologists, endocrinologists, sleep specialists, and vascular imaging specialists, we are uniquely positioned to find a treatment solution for the patient’s resistant hypertension.”
Resistant hypertension may be caused by several factors. “Any particular resistant hypertensive patient may have numerous contributing causal factors to their hypertension involving genetics including race, insulin resistance, diabetes, as well as a host of other factors like diet and cultural habits that contribute to their high blood pressure,” explains board certified clinical hypertension specialist and endocrinologist, Dr. Ralph Duda. “We individualize and tailor treatment to their surrounding clinical state.”
Patients referred to the Resistant Hypertension Clinic by their primary care physicians will be evaluated to determine if they have resistant hypertension. White-coat syndromes will be considered by reviews of at-home blood pressure readings and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. If diagnosed, results and progress from the clinic will be followed and communicated back to the patient’s primary care provider to ensure continuity of care.