It is difficult to overstate the impact of hypertension (HT) has on the health and wellness of the population in the United States and throughout the world. Mortality and morbidity is doubled for every 20 mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure (BP) above 115 mm Hg and for every 10 mm Hg in diastolic BP over 75 mm Hg (1). A reduction of just 10 mm Hg in systolic BP can reduce the incidence of stroke and coronary heart disease (CHD) by 56% and 37% respectively (2).
The impact of HT on health is clearly demonstrated when one realizes that 29% of U.S. adults are hypertensive and an additional 28% are prehypertensive (3). Unfortunately only 57% of those with HT have controlled HT even with pharmacological intervention (4). These figures clearly reflect the large numbers of individuals at increased risk for stroke and CHD in the U.S. and the clear necessity for preventive measures.
1. Vasan RS, Larson MG, Leip EP, Kannel WB, Levy D. Assessment of frequency of progression to hypertension in non-hypertensive participants in the Framingham Heart Study: a cohort study. Lancet 2001 Nov 17;358(9294):1682-6.
2. MacMahon S, Peto R, Cutler J, Collins R, Sorlie P, Neaton J, et al. Blood pressure, stroke, and coronary heart disease. Part 1, Prolonged differences in blood pressure: prospective observational studies corrected for the regression dilution bias. Lancet 1990 Mar 31;335(8692):765-74.
3. Ostchega Y, Yoon SS, Hughes J, Louis T. Hypertension Awareness, Treatment, and Control —Continued Disparities in Adults: United States, 2005–2006. U S DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics 2008 January 31 [cited 2010 Jan 28]
4. Forman JP, Stampfer MJ, Curhan GC. Diet and lifestyle risk factors associated with incident hypertension in women. JAMA 2009 Jul 22;302(4):401-11.