Posted by: audreybenenati | February 24, 2010

Statement By American Heart Association President Clyde Yancy, M.D. On IOM Report On Hypertension

Article Date: 23 Feb 2010 – 14:00 PST

Millions of Americans are living with hypertension — a ticking time bomb. From the age of 50 and onward, Americans have a 90 percent chance of developing hypertension. That is a startling risk for a condition that strongly predisposes to heart disease and stroke. What is most worrisome is that the prevalence of hypertension remains high, particularly among African-Americans, despite efforts to educate Americans about the importance of healthy eating, physical activity and smoke-free environments. This Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report on Hypertension now reinforces the need for a broad-based initiative in the science and public health spectrums to help individuals manage hypertension and perhaps even prevent the onset of hypertension.

Hypertension is the most common primary diagnosis in America, affecting over 60 million people. More than two-thirds of hypertensive individuals need drug therapy yet many are unable to afford the high cost of medication and treatment. We support the IOM’s recommendations to make drug therapy more affordable for Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries and boost funding for prevention programs that provide smoking cessation counseling and screenings for high blood pressure and cholesterol for underserved populations. Currently, funding for prevention programs remains woefully inadequate, limiting access for at-risk individuals in many communities.

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