Mortality rate down, but BP still cause for concern

April 27th, 2011 - 3:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 27 (IANS) Despite mortality rates decreasing and the availability of medication, there is still a gap in the death rate between patients who have high blood pressure and those who don’t.

“Mortality rates are going down for everybody with high blood pressure, but despite the availability of several types of medication to reduce blood pressure, there is still a large gap between those with hypertension and those without,” said study author Earl S. Ford.

He is a medical officer with the US Public Health Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Ford examined changes in death rates among adults aged 25-74, using results from two national health surveys, reports Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) I Epidemiologic Follow-up Study followed participants recruited between 1971 and 1975 and the NHANES III Linked Mortality Study followed participants recruited between 1988 and 1994, according to a CDC statement.

The study found overall death rate was 42 percent higher in patients with high blood pressure than in those without it.

“The mortality gap that remains despite improved treatment means that hypertensive patients need to be aggressively monitored for risk factors other than blood pressure, with efforts made to reduce the total burden of heart disease risks,” Ford said.

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