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Blood Pressure on the Rise in America
Date:10/13/2008

cularly among black women. The treatment rates across race and gender also increased. Significant increases were seen among white men and black men and women, the researchers noted.

Moreover, the rate of those who had their blood pressure under control also increased. Among black men, blood pressure control rates increased, from 17 percent to 30 percent, and among white men it rose from 22 percent to 39 percent.

However, the number of white women with high blood pressure who had their blood pressure under control did not increase.

Of all groups, Mexican Americans had the lowest blood pressure control rates. This is especially true for young men (16 percent) and older women (19 percent), Sorlie's group found.

Sorlie thinks it is essential that people are aware of their blood pressure, and that those with high blood pressure work to get it under control.

"Know your blood pressure levels, seek appropriate treatment, and follow the guidance of your physician," Sorlie said. "But to prevent high blood pressure in the first place, develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle, and control your weight through exercise and health eating behaviors."

Dr. Theodore A. Kotchen, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and author of accompanying journal editorial, said there is good news and bad news in the study.

"The good news about hypertension control in the U.S. is more people who have hypertension are aware of it, and more people who are aware of it are being treated, and more people being treated are being controlled," Kotchen said.

But despite the positive data, concerns about high blood pressure and obesity remain, Kotchen noted. "Heart disease and stroke remain leading causes of death, and hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke," he said.

"The percentage of hypertension is increasing, and perhaps that's
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