CHARLESTON, S.C., July 27 (UPI) -- A study supports the idea people can reduce their heart disease risk by getting high blood pressure and high cholesterol under control, U.S. researchers say.
Brent Egan of the Medical University of South Carolina, said national survey data from 1988 through 2010 found a sharp increase in the proportion of people who had blood pressure and cholesterol controlled.
Egan says the benefits of control are powerful, and the lifestyle factors of physical activity and eating healthy can add to it as well, yet fewer than 1-in-3 people achieved this goal.
"The reality is, we know more than enough to prevent 75 percent of heart disease and strokes, but we're not doing everything we could be doing or even doing it at a reasonable level," Egan said in a statement. "We've made some gradual improvements over the years, but there is still a lot of progress to be made."
High blood pressure affects about 33 percent of the U.S. adult population and doubles the risk for heart disease. About 32 million Americans have dangerously high total blood cholesterol levels of 240 mg/dL or higher.