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June 3, 1974

The Physician and Hypertension

Author Affiliations

Walter Reed Army Medical Center Washington, DC

JAMA. 1974;228(10):1249-1250. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230350021019

HYPERTENSION is a disease affecting 23 million Americans—a public health menace of great magnitude. We have the means to control hypertension in the great majority of patients, and there is convincing evidence that such control will reduce morbidity and mortality. With such knowledge and capability, why do we still have 50% of hypertensives unaware that they have the disease, while many others are not on adequate treatment (or any treatment).1 Where lies the fault? With the patient, the doctor, or both?

The National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) has undertaken to coordinate a National Program of Information and Education to educate the public and alert the medical profession to the problem of "hidden" hypertension. As part of this program, the NHLI contracted with Louis Harris and Associates to conduct a survey of current public awareness and knowledge of high blood pressure. The survey was carefully designed and carried out