Hypertension

Updated 18 November 2014

More Americans controlling their high blood pressure

Government researchers report that hypertension numbers are looking better, but that the US national goal has not been reached yet.

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A growing number of Americans with high blood pressure are keeping their condition under control, a new U.S. government study reports.

Researchers examined national data on more than 9,200 people with high blood pressure - a reading of at least 140/90 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg) - who were surveyed between 2003 and 2012.

The results showed that the number of people who achieved optimal blood pressure (less than 120/80 mm Hg) rose from 13 percent to 27 percent in that time frame. And the percentage who achieved pre-hypertensive levels of blood pressure (between 120/80 mm Hg and 139/89 mm Hg) rose from 19 percent to 33 percent.

The findings were to be presented Sunday at the American Heart Association (AHA) annual meeting in Chicago and were published simultaneously in the AHA journal Hypertension.

"This is definitely good news," according to Sung Sug Yoon from the National Centre for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, where the study was conducted.

The increasing number of Americans with high blood pressure who are keeping their condition under control has reduced the numbers of heart attacks and strokes, and hospitalizations and deaths due to heart disease, the researchers noted in an AHA news release.

However, they added, 48 percent of those with high blood pressure still do not have it under control, which is well above the goal of 38 percent in the federal government's Healthy People 2020 initiative.

According to government reports, one in three American adults has high blood pressure, which increases the risk for heart disease and stroke.

Read more:
Could you lower your blood pressure through fasting?
Binge drinking may boost blood pressure in young men

The role that diet plays in managing hypertension

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Dr Jacomien de Villiers qualified as a specialist physician at the University of Pretoria in 1995. She worked at various clinics at the Department of Internal Medicine, Steve Biko Hospital, these include General Internal Medicine, Hypertension, Diabetes and Cardiology. She has run a private practice since 2001, as well as a consultant post at the Endocrine Clinic of Steve Biko Hospital.

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