A Big Step Forward for Hypertension Control; Charter Files

Manila Bulletin, September 23, 2003 | Go to article overview
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A Big Step Forward for Hypertension Control; Charter Files


The Philippine Society of Hypertension (PSH) is most pleased with the big success of the recently concluded and first-ever Hypertension Course at the Philippine Heart Center. We originally intended to limit the participants to 150, but we had to give in to the overwhelming response of medical practitioners from all over the country, who had persevered for three consecutive weekends to attend the lectures, blood pressure (BP) certification and case discussions. A total of 340 aspiring hypertension specialists completed the course.

The PSH board and course faculty are happy to note that many practitioners are well aware of the big threat hypertension and its complications pose to Filipino patients, and they are ohungryo for knowledge and new information which will equip them well in combating this menace exposing an estimated eight million Filipinos to serious, possibly fatal, complications.

In the course, which PSH hopes to conduct regularly in response to many requests from physicians who were not accommodated for this course, we have gone through a comprehensive review of the basic science of hypertension, its clinical features, prevention, evaluation and treatment of essential (cause not known), and secondary forms (with identifiable cause) of high BP.

Being also important in the better understanding of hypertension, we studied the co-morbidities (concomitant illnesses) since high BP does not usually come as an isolated problem but as part of a constellation or cluster of abnormalities including diabetes, cholesterol problems and obesity.

Very importantly, we have taken lessons on how to evaluate claims on the effectiveness of various treatment interventions, how to apply clinical trial results to our individual patients, and how to put unproven remedies u popularly advertised in the media u in proper perspective, with the main objective of protecting the patientEs welfare from any potential harm which taking these unproven medications and setting aside proven therapies, might cause.

As a cardiologist with much time particularly spent on hypertension and cardiovascular pharmacology (drug therapy), IEm humbled by the realization of how much I learned from the course myself. The course has driven home the point that no matter how well trained a specialist is, there is always something he can learn about his discipline as time goes by. Thus, itEs not an admission of incompetence to ask the help of other specialists.

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