Friday, September 07, 2012

Blood pressure problems

High blood pressure is a leading cause of strokes. If you don't know your typical blood pressure, you should. Recent news from MedPage Today highlighted that problem, saying that's uncontrolled blood pressure BP is a major problem in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
On a conference call with reporters, CDC director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, said that hypertension -- which he called public health enemy number two behind tobacco use -- accounts for $131 billion in healthcare costs each year and contributes to about 1,000 deaths a day.
"We have to roll up our sleeves and make blood pressure control a priority every day with every patient at every doctor's visit," he said.
Blood pressure control is a priority of the federal government's Million Hearts initiative, which has the goal of preventing one million hearts attacks and strokes by 2017. Part of the effort calls for increasing the number of people whose hypertension is under control by 10 million.
That comes a few days after another story about recent research about black stroke patients have blood pressure troubles:
Blood pressure control is poor following an intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), particularly among black patients longer term, researchers found.
Fewer than 20% of black and white patients who suffered an ICH achieved a normal blood pressure (less than 120 mm Hg/80 mm Hg) at 30 days and 1 year after the event, according to Darin Zahuranec, MD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues.
Although at 30 days there was no racial difference in the percentage of patients considered hypertensive, at 1 year, black patients were more likely to meet ... criteria for Stage 1 or 2 hypertension ..., the researchers reported online in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
So please - know about your own blood pressure. And if called for, act.

(Photo from CDC)

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