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January 28, 2002

Reflections on Hypertension Control Rates: A Message From the Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(2):131-132. doi:10.1001/archinte.162.2.131

NEXT YEAR, the National High Blood Pressure Education Program (NHBPEP) will celebrate its 30th anniversary. How far have we come? What lies ahead?

After 3 decades, there is no question that the national effort to prevent, detect, and control hypertension is succeeding. Virtually all Americans have had their blood pressure levels measured; mean arterial blood pressure has declined by approximately 10 mm Hg; hypertension control rates have nearly tripled; and age-adjusted mortality rates for stroke and coronary heart disease have declined precipitously. Professional societies and journals devoted to hypertension have proliferated, and research studies have increased dramatically in number and scope. One of the greatest markers of success is that the NHBPEP has been adopted as a model for other national health education campaigns that are addressing a variety of chronic conditions.

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