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. SORT ratings were not utilized in the preparation of this monograph. Risk factors are listed in order of relative importance and impact on society.
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