Under Pressure: Transforming Hypertension Care to Extend Human Life Expectancy

American Heart Association

The project team at American Heart Association, along with its key partner, American Medical Association, are scaling proven, low-cost practices that reduce high blood pressure, the leading risk factor and contributor to human death and disability worldwide.

Last Updated: January 2024
Competition Participation
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  • United States of America
  • United States of America
  • Adults (19+)
  • People with diseases and illnesses
  • 3. Good health and well-being
  • 7. Affordable and clean energy
  • 10. Reduced inequalities

Executive Summary

Non-communicable diseases cause the most deaths worldwide. Despite having complex contributing factors, the most common and significant risk factor also is the least complex to address: high blood pressure. Hypertension affects nearly half of U.S. adults and more than 1.4 billion people worldwide, with significant racial and economic disparities. It is a contributing factor in vulnerability to COVID-19. Meanwhile, hypertension is relatively easy to diagnose and inexpensive to treat. Even small reductions in blood pressure can translate to significant health gains, offering remarkable cost-to-impact value.

We have proven, effective ways to close gaps in how blood pressure is measured and managed through three simple, evidence-based healthcare practices that are adoptable and sustainable in diverse settings. We are scaling these effective practices across the U.S., aiming to benefit 100 million patients. Improving hypertension control will directly result in millions of longer, healthier lives.

Organization Details
Lead Organization

American Heart Association

website: http://www.heart.org
Organization Headquarters
Dallas County, Texas, United States of America
Organization ID
Number of Full-time Employees
> 1,000
Annual Operating Budget
$500.1 Million to 1 Billion

Charity, fund, non-governmental organization, religious institution, school, or other entity

Organizations may provide budget and employee data based on this proposal or the organization as a whole. For more information on this proposal or organization, please email us.


In the first year, the focus was on establishing evaluation frameworks, collecting relevant data, obtaining necessary approvals, and evaluating the feasibility of the program. In the second year, our evaluation revealed important insights into community health centers (CHCs) and community-based organizations (CBOs).

CHCs serving vulnerable populations remained relatively consistent in terms of key characteristics, but those in collaboration with the American Heart Association (AHA), saw greater improvements in Blood Pressure Control (BPC) rates. Many NHCI CHCs also expanded their services to include Self-Measured Blood Pressure (SMBP) programs, with over a quarter adopting them by the second quarter.

CHCs provided valuable recommendations, including tailored webinars on clinical guidelines, addressing time zone differences in training, and increasing support for SMBP and specific challenges. CBOs experienced growth in participation but also encountered implementation challenges. Recommendations for CBOs encompass the development of detailed protocols, raising awareness of their value, and engaging public health program managers for support.

One ongoing challenge is the time required for approvals from oversight boards, which can hinder the program's agility in responding to evolving CHC and CBO needs.

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