Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) September 06, 2012
Nearly 1 in 3 American adults (67 million) has high blood pressure, and more than half (36 million) don’t have it under control, according to the report. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the first and fourth leading causes of death in the United States, leading to nearly 1,000 deaths a day.
“We have to roll up our sleeves and make blood pressure control a priority every day, with every patient, at every doctor’s visit,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “With increased focus and collaboration among patients, health care providers and health care systems, we can help 10 million Americans’ blood pressure come into control in the next five years.”
High blood pressure is defined as blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 mm- Hg. High blood pressure’s direct health care cost is almost $131 billion annually.
Pharmacists, nurses, dietitians, and community health workers can support doctors in identifying and treating patients with high blood pressure. This team-based approach is a way to provide patient support and follow-up care, manage medicines, and help patients stick to a blood pressure control plan. In addition, patients should be counseled to make important lifestyle changes that affect blood pressure, including eating a healthy, low sodium diet, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking.
Blood pressure control has to be a priority. Knowing you have high blood pressure helps, but isn't enough. Key facts in the Vital Signs report about those affected:
To learn more about blood pressure, visit http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/. For more information on heart disease and stroke, visit http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/. Controlling high blood pressure is also a key component of the Million Hearts initiative to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.