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Medical News & Perspectives
April 14, 2010

IOM Urges More Attention by Physicians, Public on “Neglected” Hypertension

JAMA. 2010;303(14):1354-1355. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.358

Fighting hypertension in the United States will require new strategies to change people's lifestyle choices as well as better assessment and treatment regimens, said the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in a report released February 22.

The IOM's report called hypertension a neglected disease that is often ignored by the general public and underappreciated by the medical community (http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12819). But that neglect comes at great personal and public cost. The IOM estimated that about 73 million individuals in the United States, or almost 1 in 3 adults, have hypertension; the disease accounts for about 45% of all cardiovascular deaths and costs the health care system about $73 billion annually.