Approximately 67 million, or 1 out of every 3, American adults have high blood pressure and about 36 million don't have it under control, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) report.
High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, a person may be suffering from high blood pressure and not know about it for years because the disease usually has no signs or symptoms.
The present report estimates that about 22 million know about their high blood pressure but aren't taking medications that will help lower it, 16 million Americans take medications to lower blood pressure regularly but do not have their blood pressure under control.
The study was based on data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2010.
"We have to roll up our sleeves and make blood pressure control a priority every day, with every patient, at every doctor's visit. 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," said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, MD, in a press release.
High blood pressure costs $131 billion annually. The disease can increase risk for chronic health complications. Intervention policies aimed at increasing adherence to blood pressure maintenance programs can help lower the burden of the disease. Healthy life style, low-sodium diet, exercise and avoiding smoking can lead to better management of blood pressure, according to a CDC news release.
"The bottom line is ... most of those in this country who have (high blood pressure) don't have their numbers under control, and because of that we have a very high burden of disease," said Frieden.