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U.S. High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Care Falls Short

Just 12 percent of Hispanics get treatment for both, versus 30.4 percent of whites

MONDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Only 29 percent of Americans with both high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol are getting treatment for both conditions, and Hispanic patients are less likely than others to get both treatments, researchers report in the July 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Nathan Wong, Ph.D., of the University of California in Irvine, and colleagues evaluated the incidence and care for hypercholesterolemia and hypertension in 2,864 Americans aged 20 or older between 2001 and 2002, and projected their findings to 118 million people, 52 percent of them women.

The researchers found that 30 percent of adults had hypertension, 47 percent had hypercholesterolemia and 18 percent had both conditions. Twenty percent of women had both conditions, compared to 16 percent of men. Some 9.8 percent of Hispanics had both conditions, as did 19 percent of whites and 22 percent of blacks. Twenty-nine percent of people with both hypertension and hypercholesterolemia were receiving treatment. But only 12 percent of Hispanics with both conditions were being treated, compared to 24 percent of blacks and 30.4 percent of whites.

"Treatment and control of combined hypertension and hypercholesterolemia are suboptimal," the authors write. "Increased efforts to improve treatment of these conditions are needed."

The study was funded by a grant from Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.

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