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February is Heart Month - Hypertension

February is Heart Month - Hypertension


Did you know that hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects 15% of Americans today? Uncontrolled hypertension can lead to heart disease and stroke if not treated properly. Boston Medical Center is proud to offer a number of resources to patients who may be suffering from this common condition.

The Hypertension Clinic, run by husband and wife duo Irene Gavras, MD and Haralambos Gavras, MD, provides consultations for the evaluation and treatment of patients currently dealing with hypertension, and those yet to be diagnosed. This includes special tests for causes of secondary hypertension (high blood pressure caused by another medical condition) and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring for masked hypertension, also known as “white coat hypertension, ” which occurs when patients exhibit a blood pressure level above the normal range due to anxiety from being in a clinical setting.

The Hypertension Clinic specializes in the following services:

  • Evaluation of new onset hypertension
  • Diagnosis of causes of secondary hypertension
  • Management of “resistant” hypertension or difficult to control hypertension complicated by co-morbidities and/or adverse drug interactions
  • Evaluation of hypertensive complications
  • Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring

And, there’s more! BMC’s Director of Behavioral Medicine, Robert Sokolove, PhD, takes a non-pharmacological approach to hypertension management through an eight-week, behavioral medicine-based program. The eight weeks are divided into four modules, each teaching specific behavioral and lifestyle changes that have been shown to help lower elevated blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension. Patients learn valuable information, including how to monitor their blood pressure at home, stress reduction and relaxation training, specialized diet and meal planning, and effective exercise techniques. “It’s been six years, and I still have not had to go back on antihypertensive medication,” stated one of Dr. Sokolove’s patients.

“Few of my patients are able to stop all their hypertensive medications by the end of the classes,” said Dr. Sokolove. “But, most report a significant drop in their blood pressure numbers, a feeling of greater energy and well-being, and the amount of medication they need to take decreases.”

To schedule an appointment, or learn more about the Hypertension Clinic, visit bmc.org/hypertension or call 617.638.7490.

To learn more about the eight-week Hypertension Management Group, please contact Dr. Sokolove at 617.414.5098.