Harvard Heart Letter

Blood pressure high? Control LDL

Most of the 70 million Americans with high blood pressure need more help lowering their cholesterol levels, nationwide data reveal.

More than 75% of people with high blood pressure have high LDL cholesterol levels. But less than a third of people with these two heart disease risk factors keep both under control, an analysis of national survey data shows. The study, led by Dr. Brent Egan of the University of South Carolina, was published in the journal Circulation.

In the study, those most likely to keep both blood pressure and cholesterol under control were taking medications for both blood pressure and cholesterol. And those who saw a health care professional at least twice a year were more likely to control both risk factors than those who got only annual health care check-ups. Older age, black race, and Hispanic ethnicity were linked with poorer control.

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