Nearly one in three American adults has high blood pressure, and more than half don’t have it under control, according to a new report from the CDC.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, and the first and fourth leading causes of death in the United States, leading to nearly 1,000 deaths a day, and costing the United States almost $131 billion annually, CDC officials say.
To combat these statistics, the CDC is launching a team initiative, composed of pharmacists, the HHS, and other partners. The program, “Team Up. Pressure Down.,” includes educational videos, a blood pressure control journal, and wallet cards to track medication use, and will be distributed to customers at drugstores around the nation.
The initiative, part of the Million Hearts health education program and supported by the ACA, is designed to prevent heart attacks and strokes by bringing pharmacists into the care team to help patients control their blood pressure. Pharmacists are able to talk to patients and families about using medication to manage, high blood pressure, and they can also help patients address barriers to taking their medication. The goal of Million Hearts is to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.
Key facts about those with high blood pressure:
- About 67 million adults have high blood pressure;
- More than half (36 million) have uncontrolled high blood pressure;
- Nearly 22 million know they have high blood pressure, but don’t have it under control;
- 16 million take medicine, but still don’t have their blood pressure under control.
In May, the Community Preventive Services Task Force, an independent, nonfederal, uncompensated body of public health and prevention experts, whose members are appointed by the Director of CDC, recommended team-based care, uniting the efforts of physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, to improve blood pressure control. Its recommendation followed a review of evidence from more than 70 scientific publications.
Source: CDC, September 5, 2012
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