One-third of U.S. adults have high blood pressure, only half have it under controlPosted: October 22, 2012
By Michelle Castillo, First Posted on CBS News, September 5, 2012
(CBS News) Sixty-seven million Americans – about one-third of the country – have high blood pressure, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released Tuesday.
However, only half of them have are actively working to control it.
About 36 million Americans aren’t taking medication or other measures to keep their blood pressure at healthy levels.
“We have to roll up our sleeves and make high blood pressure control a priority every day, with every patient at every doctor’s visit,” CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a teleconference with TIME. “We can use the whole health-care team. We know that when pharmacists, nurse practitioners, allied health workers, office staff are all involved in care, we can see rapid and dramatic improvements in blood pressure control.”
High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition where a person has a systolic blood pressure greater than or equal to 140 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure greater than or equal to 90 mmHg, according to the CDC. Left untreated, it is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. People with high blood pressure are four times more likely to die from a stroke and three times more likely to die from heart disease. The disease contributes to nearly 1,000 deaths per day and about $131 billion in direct health care costs annually.
According to the report, out of the 36 million Americans with untreated or incorrectly treated high blood pressure, an estimated 14 million are not even aware they have the disease. Another 6 million know they have the disease but were not on medication, and an estimated 16 million were being treated but still had persistent high blood pressure. About 89 percent of the subjects had a source of health care, and 85 percent had health insurance.
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