08/11/2003 - News

Blood pressure screening for all adults

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD

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All adults need to have a blood pressure test from a physician, says the US Preventive Services Task Force.

Blood pressure measurement identifies those adults at risk of heart disease. Given that bringing high blood pressure is treatable, it is worthwhile getting it checked out. This is the new recommendation from the US Preventive Services Task Force.

However, there is no conclusion yet on how often adults should be screened for high blood pressure. And it's yet to be decided whether to focus efforts on those adults with obvious risk factors such as smoking or obesity.

High blood pressure is responsible for 35 per cent of heart attacks and stroke, 19 per cent of cases of heart failure and 24 per cent of premature deaths. Around a third of American adults do not know they have high blood pressure. Both drug and lifestyle changes can reduce blood pressure, although it's important to have several readings before it is diagnosed.

Source

American Journal of Preventive Medicine August 2003

Created on: 08/11/2003
Reviewed on: 08/11/2003

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