CDC: Millions of adults have uncontrolled high blood pressure

USA Today reports, “Despite the well-known perils of high blood pressure, more than half of the 67 million American adults who have the condition don’t have it under control, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in a new report.”

CDC director Thomas Frieden remarked, “High blood pressure is public health enemy No. 2. There is nothing that will save more lives than getting blood pressure under control.” Frieden “says major progress could be made with pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physicians and other health care providers working together with the doctor ‘as the quarterback.'”

The Hill reports in its “Healthwatch” blog that the report found that “high blood pressure contributes to nearly 1,000 deaths per day by increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Sixty-seven million Americans have high blood pressure, and of these, 36 million cases are uncontrolled, according to the report. Another 16 million Americans take medication from the condition but still struggle, the report found.” Furthermore, “The CDC estimates that healthcare costs related to high blood pressure top $130 billion annually.”

The Los Angeles Times quotes Frieden, who said, “We have to roll up our sleeves and make blood pressure control a priority every day, with every patient, at every doctor’s visit.” According to the CDC, “Specifically, this means that patients should make sure to take their medications, eat a healthful, low-sodium diet, exercise, maintain a healthy weight and not smoke.” Furthermore, “Physicians should be more alert to patients with high blood pressure, and electronic medical records systems could be modified to flag such patients.”

The Boston Globe reports in its “Daily Dose” blog, “The CDC is launching a new campaign called ‘team up pressure down’ to get pharmacists more involved in helping patients manage their hypertension by providing them with fact-sheets and instructions to hand out along with prescriptions.”

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