Nearly one-third of all U.S. residents have high blood pressure and more than half of the cases are "out of control," according to the CDC's latest "Vital Signs" report released on Tuesday, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports (Viebeck, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 9/4).
For their study, researchers used data from the 2003-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which included responses and physical examination results from 22,992 individuals over the age of 18.
The study found that during the eight-year period:
- 30.4% of adults, or about 66.9 million U.S. residents, had high blood pressure;
- 53.5%, or 35.8 million, of those individuals did not have the condition under control; and
- Among those who did not have their high blood pressure under control, only about 15.8%, or 5.7 million individuals, knew that they had the condition but were not receiving treatment.
The study also found that among the 35.8 million individuals who did not have their high blood pressure under control, nearly 90% said they had health insurance, the Los Angeles Times reports (Maugh, Los Angeles Times, 9/4).
According to CDC, high blood pressure has been linked to serious health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke. In addition, the condition is a factor in nearly 1,000 deaths per day across the U.S. and accounts for $131 billion in direct health care costs annually.
CDC Director Thomas Frieden said patients with high blood pressure are not receiving the correct combination or dosage of treatments, or they are failing to keep up with their medications (Kuo, Reuters, 9/4). Frieden 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."
American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown in a statement said, "A team-based approach to hypertension can help ensure that patients with this condition get the best quality care," adding, "Team-based care models also help address the efficiency, access and cost issues facing our nation’s healthcare system by using each health care professional to the fullest extent of their training and skill" ("Healthwatch," The Hill, 9/4).