A report by the Institute of Medicine has said that high blood pressure is a neglected disease in the US. It added that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must play an active role in increasing awareness about the condition and also guiding doctors to treat it aggressively.
Committee chair David Fleming, who directs Public Health for Seattle and King County in Washington said the disease was easy to diagnose and inexpensive to treat as well. "Yet despite that, one in six deaths in the United States is due to hypertension, and it costs our healthcare system $73 billion each year in expenses," he added.
The report said that high blood pressure could be reduced by as much as 22 percent by taking simple steps including reducing salt in the diet, eating more fruits and vegetables. Dr Fleming said despite the relatively simple message that needs to be conveyed, just $50 million was spent by CDC on prevention programs that included hypertension.
The report also said that reducing salt intake from 3,400 milligrams a day to 2,300 milligrams a day could reduce healthcare costs by $17 billion.