Not News, but Newsworthy

In a news release yesterday that is not really news at all.  We have known for years that we are doing a poor job of treating high blood pressure in the US.  In the release the CDC bluntly states that we are failing miserably at treating two of the most easily diagnosed and managed medical problems that lead to premature death and disability in America today.   High blood pressure and high cholesterol are two major factors that lead to cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the US.  Diagnosis of high blood pressure is incredibly simple.  Almost every American, with or without health insurance, has access to have their blood pressure measured.  It’s hard to go to a pharmacy, a supermarket, or a senior center without walking past a free do-it-yourself blood pressure measurement station.  Despite this of the 1/3 of adult Americans who have high blood pressure 1/3 remain undiagnosed, and ½ remain uncontrolled.

Similarly it’s not difficult to diagnose high cholesterol.  Many free cholesterol monitoring opportunities at state fairs, community events, and hospitals are marketed around the country.  The test if you need to  pay for it is not expensive, and needs to be done only every 5 years if your prior level was normal.  Despite this of the 1/3 of adult Americans who have high cholesterol ½ do not get treatment, and 2/3  remain uncontrolled.

For the treatment of high blood pressure and high cholesterol there are several very effective medications on the $4./ month lists at the discount pharmacies like Target, Walmart and others.  The cost of medications can often be kept very affordable.  In a prior post The Top 10 Generic Bargains I list Ace Inhibitors and Statins as #1 and #2.

The CDC states, “Although we’re making some progress, the United States is failing to prevent the leading cause of death—cardiovascular disease—despite the existence of low cost, highly effective treatments,” said Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., CDC director. “We need to do a better job improving care and supporting patients to prevent avoidable illness, disability, and death.”

To read the full press release see:

Most Americans with High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol at Unnecessary Risk for Heart Attack and Stroke

80 percent of adults with uncontrolled blood pressure or high cholesterol have insurance and availability to low cost effective treatment

Leave comments on this medical blog about your experience with high blood pressure of high cholesterol management.

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