Columbia, SC– Healthcare leaders from South Carolina gathered in Columbia and recognized 150 clinics from across the state for their commitment to the Target BP and Check Change Control Initiatives, encouraged others to participate, and discussed how to sustain efforts to reduce heart attacks and strokes over time. The event took place at the River Center in Saluda Shoals.

Launched in 2015, Target: BP™ is a national initiative between the American Heart Association and American Medical Association aimed at addressing the growing burden of high blood pressure in the U.S. More than 1,100 physician practices and health systems nationwide have joined Target: BP™, sharing a common goal to reduce the number of adult patients with uncontrolled blood pressure and improve health outcomes associated with heart disease.

Check Change Control Cholesterol launched through a collaboration with the American Heart Association and Sanofi and Regeneron. This initiative was created to improve the identification and management of cholesterol across the nation aiming to reduce the number of American who have heart attacks and stroke by urging medical practices, health service organization and patients to screen and treat this important risk factor.

The AHA and The American College of Cardiology recently updated the guidelines for management of blood pressure. The new guidelines define hypertension by blood pressure of 130/80 or higher rather than 140/90 or higher. The guidelines were updated because of growing evidence that elevated blood pressure, even at modest levels, is harmful to your health. It increases your risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure and kidney dysfunction.

The American Heart Association guidelines state total cholesterol should be at or below 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). Current data indicates that 40% or 94.6 million American adults have total cholesterol of 200mg/dl or higher which is more than twice the population of California.

“One in 3 adults in South Carolina have been told by a physician that they have high blood pressure and 42% of adults in South Carolina have high cholesterol” said Dr. Anil Yallapragada of Palmetto Health and President of the Midlands Board of the American Heart Association. “Programs like Target BP™ and Check Change Control Cholesterol arm clinics, physicians and care teams with resources to more effectively treat and reach blood pressure and cholesterol control rates among the adult patient population they serve and dramatically impact the health of our state.

Today, the AHA in collaboration with Care Coordination Institute recognized 150 SC clinics at the Gold level for their efforts to address high blood pressure and high cholesterol. These clinics that have brought more than 70% of their patients with hypertension or high cholesterol to a controlled level.

“We’re excited to bring Target: BP and Check Change Control Cholesterol to more physicians as a tool to help reduce the devastating impact of high blood pressure and high cholesterol on the burden of heart disease and stroke in our state. We’re delighted to recognize practices that have joined that effort and are already demonstrating success in achieving high rates of blood pressure control,” said Dr. Brent Egan, Vice President of Research for the Care Coordination Institute.

For more information about Target: BP™ go here.  For more information on Check. Change. Control. Cholestorol go here.  You can read more on this story on the WIS 10 News website or the WLTX 19 website.