Americans Don’t Do Enough to Cut Hypertension, Cholesterol

( — The CDC says in a new report that about two-thirds of adults in the U.S. who have high cholesterol levels and about half who have high blood pressure are not being treated as effectively as they could be, unnecessarily raising their risk of stroke or heart attacks.

More than 80% of people whose blood pressure or LDL “bad” cholesterol is not under control have either private or public health insurance, the CDC says.

This means that for many people, having the financial means to receive medical treatment is not sufficient to achieve blood pressure and LDL cholesterol goals, the CDC says in its Feb. 1 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Risk of Cardiovascular Events

The new numbers are disturbing because with more effort and vigilance on the part of doctors and patients, about 100,000 people who die annually from blood pressure or cholesterol-related problems might live, CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, said in a news briefing.

Heart attacks, strokes, and related vascular diseases kill more than 800,000 Americans annually, more than any other condition, he says, and of those, 150,000 are younger than 65.

Frieden says tens of thousands of lives could be saved with simple, low-cost treatments to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.


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