HealthDay News — About two-thirds (64%) of people with hypertension had the condition under control during 2012, the latest year for which figures are available, according to CDC statistics published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
“Hypertension is a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease and as a medical community it is imperative that we aggressively screen and treat those patients with high blood pressure,” Suzanne Steinbaum, MD, preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told HealthDay.
Controlled blood pressure were defined as readings at or below 140 mm Hg/90 mm Hg. The report is based on 2012 data from the nationwide Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set, which covers more than 113 million Americans enrolled in a range of healthcare plans.
There were “modest” improvements in how many Americans got their hypertension under control compared with data from 2010, the CDC reported. However, rates varied widely by region, with the southeastern “Stroke Belt” states lagging behind.
For example, although more than 68% of people reporting to the HHS’ San Francisco data center had their BP under control, that number dropped to just 59.5% for people reporting to the Atlanta or Dallas centers.
“Not only do we need to implement awareness campaigns for the patients, but hold [healthcare providers] to clinical standards of treatment,” Steinbaum said. “It is crucial that these goals are met in order for us to save lives, and prevent Americans from suffering from heart disease and strokes.”