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65 million adults have hypertension

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BETHESDA, Md., Aug 23, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The number of adults with high blood pressure -- or hypertension -- rose by 30 percent over the past decade, U.S. researchers said Monday.

Researchers at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute analyzed survey and examination data from 1999 to 2000 and found about one-third of U.S. adults -- 65 million -- have hypertension, an increase from the 50 million reported from 1988-1994.

Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease and the primary risk factor for stroke and heart failure. The trend was not surprising considering increases in obesity and the aging of the population, both factors that contribute to hypertension, researchers said.

The NHLBI identified a new pre-hypertension category to alert people to their potential risk and encouraged early prevention efforts -- including losing excess weight, physical activity, limiting intake of alcoholic beverages and healthy eating habits.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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