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Many in U.S. Have at Least 1 Heart Risk Factor
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CDC Releases New Data on Hypertension, High Cholesterol, and Diabetes
By Katrina Woznicki
Reviewed By Elizabeth Klodas, MD, FACC
April 26, 2010 -- Nearly half of the U.S. population has at least one of three diagnosed or undiagnosed chronic conditions -- high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes -- all major risk factors for heart disease, the leading cause of death among Americans, according to a new CDC study.
Data collected from the ongoing National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows that 45% of Americans had one of these three conditions either diagnosed or undiagnosed; 13% of adults had two of these conditions, and 3% had all three conditions. CDC researchers also found that 15% of adults also had one or more of these conditions undiagnosed.
It is well known that high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes all increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, a condition that affects more than 81 million Americans and accounts for one out of every three deaths in the U.S. What is less known is the co-existence of these three conditions based on race/ethnicity, as well as the prevalence of diagnosed vs. undiagnosed high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes among these groups.
The study shows that about 8% of adults have undiagnosed high blood pressure, 8% have undiagnosed high cholesterol, and 3% of have undiagnosed diabetes. The proportion of adults with these undiagnosed conditions was similar across racial/ethnic groups.
The study also shows that:
The CDC researchers also found that non-Hispanic blacks were more likely than non-Hispanic whites and Mexican-Americans to have at least one of the three conditions either diagnosed or undiagnosed.
The findings could help public health policy authorities develop more targeted prevention and treatment guidelines for diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
The impact of these three conditions individually is substantial:
SOURCES: National Center for Health Statistics: "Hypertension, High Serum Total
Cholesterol, and Diabetes: Racial and Ethnic Prevalence Differences in U.S.