Charlotte internists help member control hypertension
A doctor first diagnosed Jan Klauer with high blood pressure when the Angie’s List member, who lives near Lake Wylie in southwest Charlotte, was 21 years old and pregnant with her first child.
For decades, her blood pressure remained dangerously high, despite Klauer seeing numerous doctors who prescribed different medications. At one point, it reached 230/130 — meeting the criteria for Stage 2 hypertension.
“I knew from my family history that making no effort to control my blood pressure would shorten my life considerably,” says Klauer, now 69, noting that her aunt and other family members died of heart disease and additional hypertension-related conditions.
So she persisted and her fortunes changed a few years ago, thanks to a highly rated internist, Dr. Phillip Hanrahan of Ballantyne Medical Group in south Charlotte. He honed in on an effective combination of medications that finally lowered her blood pressure to a healthy level.
Following an insurance change, she switched to her current doctor, highly rated internist Dr. Jason Brancato at Mecklenburg Medical Group — Steele Creek in southwest Charlotte. Klauer lauds him for keeping her on track. Her average reading is now 123/69. Brancato prescribed a combination of four blood pressure medications costing an insurance-negotiated rate of $503 for a 90-day supply, of which Klauer pays $116 out of pocket.
But as Brancato attests, Klauer’s lifestyle changes — exercising regularly, reducing sodium intake and losing weight — also deserve a large share of the credit for keeping her blood pressure in check. “She’s motivated, which is not very common unfortunately,” Brancato says of Klauer’s proactive approach.