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Half of people with high blood pressure don’t know it

  • Sep-05-2013
  • Richard Reich

Do you have high blood pressure? According to a new study, the answer may be yes, and you may not even be aware of it. In a study involving over 140,000 adults from 17 different countries, an international team of researchers found that more than one-half of those with hypertension were unaware they had the disease. The findings, which were published in Journal of the American Medical Association, were similar for people from both richer and poorer countries. 

The research team, led by Dr. Salim Yusuf of McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine in Hamilton, Ontario, analyzed the data of participants in a long-running health study of urban and rural settings. Each individual had their blood pressure measured and medication use recorded and were asked whether they knew if they had hypertension. The study found that fewer than half of those with high blood pressure were aware of the diagnosis.

In a press release, Yusuf referred to his team’s findings as “disturbing” and called for better screening measures for high blood pressure.

“The widespread lack of hypertension awareness and poor control in all countries studied, despite the identification and control of blood pressure being prioritized by many national and global organizations and despite the availability of inexpensive and effective medications, is concerning,” he said.

The American Heart Association recommends that those at risk for high blood pressure consider lifestyle changes like engaging in regular exercise and reducing sodium intake. 

Having a healthy lifestyle may not only reduce your risk for high blood pressure, it might also qualify you for lower life insurance rates. For a term life insurance quote, visit LifeInsure.com to see which policy would work best for you. 

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