February 26, 1973

Medical News

JAMA. 1973;223(9):961-970. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220090003002

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Hypertension screening: Defining the problem, setting priorities  A federal task force has some tentative suggestions for physicians who may be involved in largescale screening programs for hypertension.The task force, headed by Mitchell Perry, Jr., MD, chief of medical services at Cochran VA Hospital, St. Louis, and professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine, reported at the recent National Conference on High Blood Pressure Education in Washington, DC. The conference, sponsored by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, was a first step in a federal program to cut the massive national toll from hypertension. Estimates vary, but from 10% to 23% of adult Americans are thought to have hypertension by one definition or another.From a physician's viewpoint, these definitions of hypertension constitute the first stumbling block in any screening program. Who is hypertensive? Someone with a diastolic pressure of 105 mm Hg? Or should the cut-off