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Emergency: High blood pressure kills 1 in 6, panel calls it “neglected disease”

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Take note. The alarm bells are ringing. An important medical panel says that doctors and patients aren’t doing near enough to control high blood pressure.
Hypertension "is easy to prevent, simple to diagnose and inexpensive to treat," said
Dr. David W. Fleming, the health officer for Seattle & King County in Washington and chairman of an Institute of Medicine panel that released a new report on the problem Monday.

"Yet nearly 1 in 3 Americans have hypertension and 1 in 6 deaths are caused by hypertension."

Many doctors do not even inform their patients that their blood pressure is high, let alone direct them toward lifestyle measures to reduce it, such as eating more fruits and vegetables and less salt, losing some weight and being more active physically, said a story in the Los Angeles Times. More from the story:

“Anyone who has read health stories over the last two decades should be aware of the link between high blood pressure and poor health.

“Numerous stories have highlighted the unnecessarily high levels of sodium in processed foods and restaurant food, the infrequency with which Americans get out of their houses and walk about, and the failure of many stores in the inner city to provide the fresh produce that is crucial to a healthy diet.

“But there is "an incredible disconnect," Fleming said. "I'm not sure that most Americans would recognize the fact that 1 in 3 have [hypertension]. This is a neglected disease."

"This is a call to arms," said Dr. Lawrence J. Appel of Johns Hopkins University, a spokesman for the American Society of Hypertension who was not one of the authors of the report. The report was commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though much of the information in the report is not new, "the CDC needed the report to get the resources to take this problem on," Appel said.

High blood pressure is described as being consistently above 140 over 90.

From Reuters:

“Anyone who has read health stories over the last two decades should be aware of the link between high blood pressure and poor health.

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