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High blood pressure worsening in all states for women; begins to stagnate for men
Date:2/11/2008

Uncontrolled hypertension rates in men and women vary across the country, but all states especially in the south and including the nations capital should boost blood pressure control efforts, researchers report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Uncontrolled hypertension in this study was defined as above 140 millimeters of mercury. The measurements were taken in a mobile examination clinic (MEC) and averaged. The first measurement was excluded. Those unable to visit the mobile clinic were offered a limited exam at home.

Not much has been known about how individual states measure up when it comes to hypertension prevalence because only self-reported hypertension status has been measured at the state level, said Majid Ezzati, Ph.D., lead author of the study and associate professor of International Health at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass.

In this study, we found a way to take the existing information and relatively accurately determine each states true prevalence of uncontrolled hypertension among men and women, as well as how many lives might be saved if we do a better job of controlling blood pressure in individual states.

Ezzati and colleagues first examined blood pressure trends nationally using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. They found that prevalence rates of uncontrolled hypertension had been declining for decades up to the 1990s. However, throughout the 1990s high uncontrolled hypertension rates among U.S. men began to stagnate or decline at a slower rate.

The trend among women was more alarming, with hypertension rates in the 1990s reversing and beginning to increase, researchers said.

Between the early 1990s and early 2000s, the prevalence of uncontrolled hypertension in adult women increased from 17 percent to more than 22 percent. At the same time, the rate of hypertension in m
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Contact: Karen Astle
karen.astle@heart.org
214-706-1392
American Heart Association
Source:Eurekalert

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