The NKF Survey Shows Physicians Seek New Solutions to Manage Hypertension, a Leading Risk Factor for Kidney Diseases


Survey highlights growing epidemic of hypertension and the urgent need for additional treatment options to lower blood pressure

(May 29, 2024, NEW YORK, NY) - A survey recently conducted on behalf of Medtronic and in partnership with the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), the largest kidney organization in the U.S., found that physicians are seeking new approaches to lowering patients’ blood pressure. The survey of over 200 cardiologists and nephrologists also showed that more than 60% of patients aren’t aware of non-pharmacological alternatives intended to manage hypertension, presenting an opportunity for greater patient-physician dialogue around all available treatment options, including optimal lifestyle modification and the renal denervation procedure called Symplicity Spyral.™

Almost all (95%) of physicians surveyed agree there is an increased urgency to act now to reduce the prevalence of patients with uncontrolled hypertension. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 1.28 billion adults worldwide have hypertension, most living in low- and middle-income countries1. Hypertension affects almost half of adults in the U.S., and among those, only 22% have their hypertension under control.2 Uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to largely preventable events such as heart attack, stroke, and heart failure and is the second leading cause of kidney failure in the U.S.3,4 Small changes in blood pressure can have lasting effects. In fact, reducing blood pressure by 10 mmHg can lead to a relative risk reduction of cardiovascular events by over 20%.5

Current Treatment Options Aren’t Enough

Current hypertension care strategies, including lifestyle changes and medications, are not always enough to help patients manage their blood pressure. Only 40% of survey respondents think that current treatment options are adequate, and 75% agree that a significant portion of their patients (regardless of medication levels) are unable to reach their target blood pressure goals. These challenges speak to the possibility that patients may benefit from an adjunctive treatment option to better manage their blood pressure.

Renal Denervation as a Non-Medical Alternative to Manage Hypertension

The approval of renal denervation, or RDN, comes at a time when most physicians (98%) would value more solutions to manage hypertension. Medtronic’s Symplicity Spyral™ blood pressure procedure, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2023, is an innovative, minimally invasive procedure that delivers radiofrequency energy to nerves near the kidneys that can become overactive and contribute to high blood pressure. After sedation, the physician inserts a single thin tube (known as a catheter) into the artery leading to the kidney. Once the tube is in place, the physician administers energy to the system to calm the excessive activity of the nerves connected to the kidney. The tube is removed, leaving no implant behind.

“Hypertension is a growing global health issue, and we now have more treatment options than ever before,” said Jason Weidman, senior vice president and president of the Coronary and Renal Denervation business within the Cardiovascular Portfolio at Medtronic. “These survey findings validate what we are seeing play out in doctor’s offices across the country - patients and their physicians are actively seeking new therapies like RDN. Medtronic is proud to partner with NKF to drive awareness of hypertension treatment gaps and new potential solutions."

With any new therapy or product, patient preference and shared decision-making are critical components of developing a successful care plan. More than half (62%) of surveyed physicians don’t think that patients are aware of non-pharmacological alternatives that may help in the treatment of their high blood pressure, indicating a need for better dialogue and awareness of treatment options like RDN. Additionally, according to results from a Medtronic-led patient preference study, approximately 76.5% of patients would be willing to consider an interventional approach such as RDN with reductions in office blood pressure anticipated at 10 mmHg.6

To find more information and resources from the National Kidney Foundation, visit and to learn more about renal denervation, visit

About this survey

The survey was conducted online within the United States on behalf of Medtronic and in partnership with the National Kidney Foundation. The objective was to gather feedback from the physicians within and outside NKF’s membership in order to learn more about the unmet needs of hypertension management and considerations in offering patients a minimally invasive procedure.

About Medtronic

Bold thinking. Bolder actions. We are Medtronic. Medtronic plc, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is the leading global healthcare technology company that boldly attacks the most challenging health problems facing humanity by searching out and finding solutions. Our Mission — to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life — unites a global team of 95,000+ passionate people across 150 countries. Our technologies and therapies treat 70 health conditions and include cardiac devices, surgical robotics, insulin pumps, surgical tools, patient monitoring systems, and more. Powered by our diverse knowledge, insatiable curiosity, and desire to help all those who need it, we deliver innovative technologies that transform the lives of two people every second, every hour, every day. Expect more from us as we empower insight-driven care, experiences that put people first, and better outcomes for our world. In everything we do, we are engineering the extraordinary. For more information on Medtronic (NYSE:MDT), visit and follow @Medtronic on LinkedIn.

About the National Kidney Foundation

The National Kidney Foundation is the largest patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease. It is revolutionizing the fight to save lives by eliminating preventable kidney disease, accelerating innovation for the dignity of the patient experience, and dismantling structural inequities in kidney care, dialysis, and transplantation. For more information about kidney disease, please visit

  1. World Health Organization. Hypertension. Accessed April 17, 2024.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hypertension Cascade: Hypertension Prevalence, Treatment and Control Estimates Among U.S. Adults Aged 18 Years and Older Applying the Criteria from the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association’s 2017 Hypertension Guideline—NHANES 2017–2020. Atlanta, GA: May 12, 2023. Accessed April 17, 2024.
  3. Adams JM, Wright JS. A national commitment to improve the care of patients with hypertension in the US. JAMA. 2020;324(18):1825-6.
  4. National Kidney Foundation. High Blood Pressure and Chronic Kidney Disease. Accessed April 23, 2024.
  5. Ettehad D, Emdin CA, Kiran A, et al. Blood pressure lowering for prevention of cardiovascular disease and death: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet. 2016;387:957-67.
  6.  Kandzari et all. Patient Preferences for Pharmaceutical and Device-Based Treatments for Uncontrolled Hypertension: Discrete Choice Experiment. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. December 2022.