According to a report recently released by the Institute of Medicine, hypertension (high blood pressure) has become the second leading cause of death for people in the US.
Although hypertension is easily preventable through diet, exercise and drugs, it claims one in six lives in the United States, costing our health care system upwards of 73 billion dollars this last year.
The committee chair David Fleming, who directs Public Health for Seattle and King County in Washington said
Hypertension as a disease is relatively easy to diagnose and it’s inexpensive to treat. Hypertension is really a neglected disease in this country. There’s a huge gap between what we could do and what we are doing.
Simply reducing salt and implementing a diet with more fruits, vegetables and lean protein could lower high blood pressure by as much as 22 percent, the Institute says.
Doctors typically use drugs like beta blockers (Lopressor, Toprol XL, Inderal) and ACE inhibitors (Captopril, Ramipril, Accupril) to control blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure can cut the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure as well as many other conditions.
The report went on to point out that 86 percent of people with uncontrolled high blood pressure have insurance, and see their doctors regularly. Flemming stated that doctors often fail to follow guidelines, which is why many patients do not know they have the condition and and take no steps to try and control it.
Don’t fall into this category, make sure to check with your doctor and make sure that your blood pressure is in a healthy range.
Of the many things that you may neglect, don’t allow your health to be one of them.