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One in three in US has high blood pressure

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WASHINGTON, Aug 23 (AFP) - One in three adults in the United States has high blood pressure, according to official statistics published Monday, showing a deterioration of US health over the past 10 years.

In a prior government study between 1988 and 1994, 50 million adults suffered from hypertension.

The proportion of the population afflicted grew about eight percentage points over the following decade, to about 65 million. The total number of cases grew about 30 percent.

High blood pressure is a factor in cardio-vascular risk, and increases the probability of heart problems or stroke, as well as kidney disease.

The figures were provided by the US Census Bureau and other public health sources.

The report did not identify the specific causes of the rise. The growth in the number of overweight persons and the ageing of the populations are generally cited as the reasons for the growth, according to Barbara Alving, Acting Director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the US National Institutes of Health.

"Obesity contributes to the development of hypertension and the current epidemic of overweight and obesity in the US has set the stage for an increase in high blood pressure," she said.

"We also know that high blood pressure becomes more common as people get older.

"At age 55, those who do not have high blood pressure have a 90 percent chance of developing it at some point in their lives," she said.



COPYRIGHT 2004 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.

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