Monday, February 22, 2010
The Institute of Medicine, (IOM) in a study released today, made recommendations to increase progress in hypertension reduction and control. The study titled A Population-Based Policy and Systems Change Approach to Prevent and Control Hypertension, focused on identifying “strategies that can reach large numbers of people and improve the well-being of entire communities.”
The bad news is that hypertension (high blood pressure), affects nearly one in 3 adults – 73 million people and kills one in 6 adults annually. The good news is that it can be diagnosed easily, is preventable and relatively inexpensive to treat. The challenge is to provide more clinical and population-based interventions to more people, particularly those at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
This study makes several recommendations, including two key dietary strategies – reduction of sodium intake and increase in potassium intake. Currently, 87 percent of U.S. adults consume more than the recommended daily 2.3 grams of sodium and only about 2 percent of U.S. adults meet current dietary guidelines for potassium. Clearly many partners – including state and local governments, food industry, and health and education sectors need to join forces to develop and implement effective awareness and behavior change programs.
Vice President, Policy & Programs, Partnership for Prevention