The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported on Tuesday in the weekly Mortality and Morbidity Report that 67 million people in the United States have high blood pressure and 36 million people of have uncontrolled high blood pressure.
During a telebriefing about the report held yesterday, CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden made remarks and answered questions about the report. Dr. Frieden, noted that 1 in 3 people in the U.S. have high blood pressure and that 46 percent have uncontrolled blood pressure. Dr. Frieden commented that behind tobacco, high blood pressure is “public enemy number 2,” responsible for about 1,000 deaths per day and $131 billion dollars in health care costs annually.
Dr. Frieden stated that access to treatment is the best approach, although “it’s not easy” due to taking medication, often multiple medications for the remainder of a patient’s life and to have continuous care and follow-up.
Dr. Friedan said that 14 million Americans have high blood pressure, but do not know that they have a problem. Dr. Frieden described two trends in the data in underreporting of high blood pressure. First, physicians do not diagnose hypertension in some patients with more than one high blood pressure reading. Second, that physicians may not document as a problem when a patient, who is under treatment for high pressure has a high blood pressure reading.
Dr Friedan said, “There is nothing that will save more lives than controlling blood pressure better than we’re doing today. That’s why it’s so important that doctors get blood pressure under control.”