Though the rate was a slight improvement compared to 2010, the report found that it falls short of the goal that HHS set in its national “Million Hearts” campaign of getting 70% of hypertension patients to lower their blood pressure to recommended levels by 2017.
Roughly 67 million Americans, or 1 in 3 adults, currently live with high blood pressure, but only half are estimated to have their conditions under control, according to the study. “An estimated 46,000 deaths could be avoided annually if 70% of patients with high blood pressure were treated according to published guidelines,” the report stated.
The report is based on data obtained from the 2012 Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set, which looks at patients with private and public health coverage between the ages of 18 and 85.
Regions of the country with the highest number of hypertension cases also had the worse rates of blood pressure control. In the Southeast, where an estimated 39% of residents have high blood pressure, only 59% of high blood pressure patients were found to have their conditions under control compared with 68% of people in the San Francisco area, a region where the hypertension rate is the lowest in the country at 28%.
The CDC estimates roughly $8 billion a year is spent in direct medical expenditures for the treatment of high blood pressure, and that the condition costs an additional $3 billion a year in lost productivity.
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