Health News

Smidt Heart Institute’s Hypertension Center Earns Accreditation


Newswise — LOS ANGELES (July 25, 2023) — The Hypertension Center in the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai has earned accreditation from the American Heart Association, signifying that it exceeds the highest standards of care for patients with high blood pressure—a condition that affects nearly half of all U.S. adults and increases risk for heart attack, stroke and kidney failure.   

With this certification, the Smidt Heart Institute becomes the association’s only Comprehensive Hypertension Center in Los Angeles and one of only three in California.

Research shows that patients have better outcomes when they are treated at an accredited center by physicians specialized in the disease.

“We offer a multidisciplinary and multispecialty approach for a comprehensive evaluation and optimal management of hypertension,” said Florian Rader, MDMSc, medical director of the Hypertension Center, co-director of the Clinic for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and associate director of the Noninvasive Laboratory in the Smidt Heart Institute. “Our treatment protocols include recommendations for lifestyle modifications that can help lower blood pressure, a comprehensive assessment of in-office and out-of-office blood pressure, including 48-hour automated ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, and medications that are both tolerable and convenient to take.”

Hypertension Center physicians also are among the most experienced in specialized care for people with secondary hypertension caused by primary aldosteronism (a disorder of the adrenal glands), pheochromocytoma (an often-benign tumor of the adrenal gland) or renal artery stenosis (blockage of the kidney artery often caused by cholesterol plaque buildup).

Evaluation, testing and treatments for secondary hypertension include hormone testing and analysis, imaging of the adrenal glands and renal arteries, and surgical procedures led by specialty-trained surgeons.  

In addition to providing evidence-based treatments, the center also gives patients access to clinical trials studying new pharmacologic and device-based treatment options.

“We are continuously aiming to make further advancements in how we diagnose and treat hypertension, including the most complex cases—which was among the criteria used in evaluating our Hypertension Center’s application for accreditation,” said Natalie Bello, MD, MPH, director of Hypertension Research in the Smidt Heart Institute. “We’re always eager to explore new, more effective options for our patients.”

The American Heart Association regularly updates its accreditation criteria to reflect the latest evidence and guidelines in hypertension care. The process involves thoroughly evaluating a healthcare institution’s practices and protocols. A team of experts, including physicians, researchers, and other healthcare professionals, reviews patient care, staff training, clinical research, community outreach and quality improvement initiatives.

The Smidt Heart Institute is ranked #1 in California and #3 in the nation for Cardiology and Heart Surgery by U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Hospitals 2022-23.”

Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: High Blood Pressure | What Women Need to Know


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