High Blood Pressure :: More Americans have good control over their high blood pressure

Researchers say Americans with high blood pressure are doing a better job of controlling their high blood pressure, hypertension. A new study shows that a third of U.S. adults with high blood pressure had good blood pressure control in 2003-2004. That’s up 8 percent from 1999-2000, the study shows. The study is published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.

Data came from blood pressure tests taken by more 14,600 U.S. adults who took part in national health studies. Nearly 30 percent had high blood pressure. That included 7 percent of those aged 18-39, 33 percent of those aged 40-59, and 66 percent of those aged 60 and older.

Blood pressure control improved among women, men, blacks, Mexican-Americans, obese adults, and people aged 60 and older.

Doctors should encourage patients to adopt healthy lifestyles and use medications to lower high blood pressure if needed, the researchers write.

The improved control rate may help decrease the incidence of strokes and heart attacks, Bernard Cheung, an author of the study, said in a statement.

The authors considered the disease to be controlled if the average pressure when the heart is contracting, compared with when it is resting, is below 140 over 90, as measured in millimeters of mercury, or below 130 over 80 in diabetics.

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