• Mark T. O’Connell


Because of the large number of affected individuals and the well-established cardiovascular risks, high blood pressure is quantitatively the largest single risk for premature death and disability in the Western world. Although the working definition of hypertension varies from source to source, most surveys reveal that between 15 and 25% of adult, western populations have significantly elevated systemic arterial blood pressures.1 Effective treatment of hypertension has had a significant impact on its associated morbidity and mortality. In the 1960s less than one-half of individuals found to have high blood pressure had been previously diagnosed, and less than one-sixth were adequately treated. This situation improved significantly during the 1970s. Thanks to both government and private efforts to increase the public’s awareness, by the late 1970s approximately two-thirds of hypertensive patients had been diagnosed and nearly one-half were being adequately treated.


Blood Pressure Diastolic Blood Pressure Hypertensive Patient High Blood Pressure Essential Hypertension 
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© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark T. O’Connell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of Miami School of MedicineMiamiUSA

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