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High Blood Pressure Key Factor for Cardiovascular Disease

Only one-third to one-half of those getting treatment reach their target levels, survey finds

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 75 percent of American adults with conditions that increase their risk for cardiovascular disease have high blood pressure.

That's the finding of a University of California, Irvine study that looked at data from 4,646 adults who took part in a national health survey.

Overall, 1,671 (31.4 percent) of the participants had high blood pressure. The condition was more common in older and black adults. Of those with high blood pressure (hypertension), 68.5 percent were receiving treatment for the condition, and 52.9 percent had their hypertension under control.

The study found that most people with cardiovascular diseases and related problems had high blood pressure, including:

  • 76.8 percent of those with diabetes.
  • 81.8 percent of those with chronic kidney disease.
  • 69.5 percent of those with stroke.
  • 71.4 percent of those with congestive heart failure.
  • 73.7 percent of those with peripheral artery disease, or narrowed veins or arteries.
  • 73 percent of those with coronary artery disease.
  • 76.9 percent of those with two or more of these diseases.

Among people with these conditions, 75 percent or more were being treated for hypertension, but only one-third to one-half of those receiving treatment reached their blood pressure level targets, the study found.

Target achievement was particularly low among those with: stroke (34.9 percent), heart failure (48.8 percent), peripheral artery disease (46.7 percent), coronary artery disease (50.3 percent), diabetes (35 percent) and chronic kidney disease (23 percent).

The study was published Dec. 10 in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about high blood pressure.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, Dec. 10, 2007

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