Judith Whitworth talks with
ScienceWatch.com and answers a few questions about
this month's Emerging Research Front Paper in the field of
Article: 2003 World Health Organization
(WHO)/International Society of Hypertension (ISH) statement on
management of hypertension
Authors: Afridi, I, et al.
Journal: J HYPERTENSION, 21 (11): 1983-1992, NOV 2003
Addresses: Australian Natl Univ, John Curtin Sch Med Res,
Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.
Australian Natl Univ, John Curtin Sch Med Res, Canberra, ACT
Univ London Imperial Coll Sci Technol & Med, London,
WHO, CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland.
Univ Texas, SW Med Ctr, Dallas, TX USA.
Why do you think your paper is highly
I think it is highly cited because hypertension is very common and one of
the major causes of death and disability worldwide.
Does it describe a new discovery, methodology, or
synthesis of knowledge?
As a synthesis of knowledge, this guideline was the first in its field to
use formal methods to assess the evidence.
Would you summarize the significance of your paper
in layman's terms?
High blood pressure is one of the world’s biggest killers, not just
in high-income countries, but also in low- and middle-income countries.
This paper sets out guidelines for treating this very common problem
How did you become involved in this research and
were any particular problems encountered along the way?
I became involved as I was working in hypertension research and at the same
time was a Councilor of the International Society of Hypertension and also
working with WHO.
Where do you see your research leading in the
The main game is prevention of hypertension. Salt restriction has huge
potential here. My own research has moved to health policy and how we can
use research evidence in prevention, practice, and policy.
Do you foresee any social or political
implications for your research?
The social implications of better prevention and management are enormous,
not only for individuals but also for health costs and productivity gains.
Professor Judith A. Whitworth, AC, DSc, MD, PhD, FRACP
High Blood Pressure Research Unit
The John Curtin School of Medical Research