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Blood pressure control should be priority

Sept. 4, 2012 at 11:57 PM

ATLANTA, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Doctors should roll up their sleeves and make blood pressure control a priority every day, with every patient, at every visit, a U.S. health official says.

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said 67 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure -- defined as blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 -- and more than half don't have it under control.

High blood pressure contributes to nearly 1,000 deaths per day and accounts for nearly $131 billion in direct healthcare costs a year, Frieden said.

"With increased focus and collaboration among patients, healthcare providers and healthcare systems, we can help 10 million Americans' blood pressure come into control in the next five years," Frieden said in a statement.

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, Frieden said.

Nearly 22 million know they have high blood pressure but don't have it under control, while 16 million take medicine but still don't have their blood pressure under control, Frieden added.

To learn more about blood pressure, visit www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure; for more information on heart disease and stroke, visit http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease.

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