Navigation Links
Report Finds Control of High Blood Pressure Improving

But bad news is the prevalence of hypertension in U.S. not decreasing

TUESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- While the number of Americans with high blood pressure has not declined in recent years, researchers report that the good news is that more people with the condition have it under control.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems; it was considered such an important health issue that achieving a 50 percent control rate was made an official Healthy People 2010 goal.

That goal has been achieved, said Dr. Brent M. Egan, a professor of medicine and pharmacology at the Medical University of South Carolina and lead author of the report in the May 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. That report used data from a series of national health surveys running from 1988 to 2008.

"The good news is that blood pressure control has improved very substantially over the years," Egan said. "It went from 27 percent of all hypertensives to 50 percent, with most of the progress since 2000. Awareness of high blood pressure improved from 69 to 81 percent, and the number of hypertensives on treatment improved from 54 percent to 72 percent."

The bad news is that the number of Americans with high blood pressure has not gone down. "We're doing a lousy job of trying to prevent it," Egan said. An estimated 65 million Americans, about 29 percent of the population, now have high blood pressure, a far cry from the national goal of 16 percent.

The study defined high blood pressure as a reading of 140/90 or higher, self-reported use of blood pressure medications, or both. Control was defined as getting the reading below 140/90.

A breakdown by different groups shows that efforts at improving awareness of the dangers of high blood pressure and measures to control it must be carefully targeted, Egan said.

"With younger individuals, men and Hispanics, the emphasis needs to be placed on raising awareness and getting treatment," he said. "For older individuals, African-Americans and women, while there are more people on treatment and awareness is high, the percentage under control is lower than average."

Egan said he did the study because he has been working on hypertension awareness and control with 200 community-based medical practices in the southeastern United States, where high blood pressure is more common. "I thought we should have a good idea of what is happening nationally," he said.

The survey found a slightly lower rate of hypertension control among blacks than the general population, but the difference is small enough so that it might be a matter of chance, Egan said. A recent study found an overall reduction of stroke incidence in the United States, but not in blacks.

Worries about high blood pressure have led to a proposal of a national program aimed at reducing the salt content of American foods, since high blood levels of sodium are known to raise blood pressure.

Reducing sodium intake is a good idea, Egan said, "but my own preference is to focus on diet quality. Eating more fruits and vegetables and whole foods reduces sodium intake."

Preventive measures such as better diet, more physical activity and weight reduction are needed to bring hypertension under control, said Dr. Aram V. Chobanian, former dean of the Boston University Medical Center and president emeritus of Boston University, who wrote an accompanying editorial.

"There is very little evidence that lifestyle has improved in the United States, but in the long run that is where the greatest benefit is going to be," Chobanian said. "Otherwise, as the population ages and the obesity epidemic increases, the prevalence of hypertension will increase."

Changing the American lifestyle won't be easy, he said. "It has to be a long-term process involving many different constituencies to do this," Chobanian said. "It is hard work, and much more difficult than taking pills."

More information

To learn about hypertension, and how to calculate your blood pressure, visit the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Brent M. Egan, M.D., professor, medicine and pharmacology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, S.C.; Aram V. Chobanian, M.D., former dean, Boston University Medical Center, president emeritus, Boston University; May 26, 2010, Journal of the American Medical Association

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Reports Decrease in Brand Name Drug Prices From Canadian and Other International Online Pharmacies
2. Suntricity Power Stations Report Nearly 100% Percent Uptime Suntricity Power Stations using AC power more reliable than standard sun powered solar systems
3. Social Media Driving Leads & Sales, New Report Shows
4. Alcohol Companies Use New Media to Lure Young Drinkers: Report
5. Heavy alcohol use, binge drinking, might increase risk of pancreatic cancer, researcher reports
6. BPA in Cans Poses Health Threat, Report Claims
7. The Hastings Center Report table of contents for May/June 2010
8. SDI Reports: Pharmaceutical Promotion Spending Indicates Trend Toward Electronic and Online Promotion
9. President Obama Must Investigate Reports of Detainee Abuse at Bagram Air Base
10. Preterm Birth Rates Declining, U.S. Report Shows
11. Georgetown Research Center Helps Reporters Decipher Health Reform Law & Impact on State Residents
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, ... the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where ... city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the ... AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in ... topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern ... Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He ... Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events ... turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. ... tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... CitiDent, is now offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive ... self-ligating Damon brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Research and ... "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" report ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural Health Monitoring, ... Structural electronics involves electronic and/or electrical components ... replacing dumb structures such as vehicle bodies or ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. ... The World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers the world market ... the report includes the following: , World ... Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 , World IVD ...
(Date:6/24/2016)...  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator in the ... cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it has secured ... led by Innova Memphis, followed by Angel Capital ... Arkis, new financing will accelerate the commercialization of ... of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: