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Top US Hypertension Hot Spots

Study is part of “Commit to Control”, a new program encouraging the 75 million Americans who have hypertension to get their high blood pressure under control

A national analysis conducted by Sperling’s BestPlaces, sponsored by Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., identifies the nation’s Hypertension Hot Spots, or cities that face the most challenges due to hypertension risk factors and complications. Although hypertension is the second-leading preventable risk factor for death in the United States, it typically has no symptoms, and more than half of diagnosed patients with hypertension still do not have their blood pressures under control.

The Hypertension Hot Spots were identified as a way to educate Americans about the high prevalence of hypertension and the risk factors associated with it. Identification of these Hot Spots are part of a larger Takeda-sponsored hypertension awareness program called Commit to Control, which educates Americans about hypertension and also challenges patients to do all they can to get their blood pressure under control. Patients can visit www.CommitToControl.com for tools and resources for managing hypertension, the chance to make a virtual pledge to better control it and more information on a traveling exhibit with free blood pressure screenings and an animated 3-D hypertension simulator.

Criteria used to determine the Hot Spots included prevalence rates of hypertension and hypertension prescriptions per capita, as well as the prevalence of several lifestyle factors that may lead to the development of hypertension. According to the analysis, the 10 metropolitan areas facing the most challenges due to hypertension are:

1. Memphis, Tenn./Miss./Ark.
2. Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich.
3. Louisville-Jefferson County, Ky./Ind.
4. Birmingham-Hoover, Ala.
5. Dayton, Ohio
6. Pittsburgh, Pa.
7. Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.
8. St. Louis, Mo./Ill.
9. Oklahoma City, Okla.
10. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.

(Click here, for a complete ranking of all 50 metro areas in the study.)

 “The reality is hypertension is a widespread health concern that can lead to serious health consequences such as stroke and heart attack if left uncontrolled,” said Michael Bloch, M.D., American Society of Hypertension board-certified clinical hypertension specialist from Reno, Nev. “Hypertension is treatable, so there is no reason for patients to wait to begin lowering their blood pressure and get to goal.”

Patients can visit www.CommitToControl.com to see a full list of the 50 Hypertension Hot Spots and to make an online pledge to talk to their doctors about controlling hypertension. For each pledge made online, Takeda will donate $5, up to $10,000, to Mended Hearts, a community-based, nationwide heart patient support network.

Later this year, Commit to Control will visit select Hypertension Hot Spots in the United States. The local tour will provide free blood pressure screenings and a chance to personally see the effects hypertension can have on the body through an animated 3-D simulation. The tour schedule is available on the program website, which also provides patients with resources on how they can take small steps toward managing hypertension.

“Patients need to make a commitment to better understand how high blood pressure impacts their health and then work with their doctors to get it under control through healthy lifestyle changes and regular blood pressure monitoring,” said Dr. Bloch. “I want to encourage patients to make the pledge online, or with their doctors, to better manage high blood pressure today.”

About Hypertension

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure is elevated. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps out blood. Blood pressure numbers include systolic and diastolic pressures. Systolic pressure is the pressure exerted while the heart is beating. Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart is at rest. In blood pressure measurements, the systolic number appears above or before the diastolic number. Hypertension is defined as elevated blood pressure about 140 mm Hg or greater systolic or 90 mm Hg or greater diastolic. High blood pressure typically has no symptoms. In fact, of Americans who have hypertension, an estimated 20 percent are still unaware they have it. If left uncontrolled, hypertension can lead to serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and congestive heart failure. Having high blood pressure can also shorten life expectancy by about five years, unless appropriately treated.

About the Hypertension Hot Spots Analysis

The analysis was conducted by Sperling’s BestPlaces during the month of April 2011 for Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc. The goal of the study was to find the metropolitan areas in the United States that face the most challenges due to hypertension risk factors and complications. To find the places in the United States that are most challenged by hypertension, a large-scale analysis, which combined the findings of original research and existing, related research in the field of the study, was performed. The study compiled and analyzed data for the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. To determine these Hypertension Hot Spots, Sperling’s BestPlaces analyzed data about the following factors: self-reported diagnoses of hypertension, self-reported diagnoses of high cholesterol, self-reported diagnoses of cardiovascular disease, doctor diagnoses of hypertension (per capita), prescriptions of hypertension-control medication (per capita), mortality relating to hypertension, average Body Mass Index (BMI), obesity rate, smoking incidence and lack of exercise. The data came from the following sources: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, The CDC Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research (WONDER) database, The Gallup/Healthways Well-Being poll and ESRI data derived from the Doublebase Consumer Survey performed by Mediamark Research Inc. The analysis weighed the study’s categories by assigning each a magnitude of importance based upon the focus of the study; some categories offered more insight into the prevalence of hypertension. All data was adjusted by the current population to arrive at “per capita” figures to provide an accurate comparison between cities of varying sizes.

About Bert Sperling

For more than twenty years, Bert Sperling has been helping people find their own Best Places to live, work, play and retire. As the foremost creator of these studies, his work appears in the national media nearly every month. Annually, his “Healthiest Cities for Women” study is featured in SELF magazine. Other health-related projects include “Migraine Hot Spots,” “Asthma Hot Spots,” “Best Cities for Sleep,” “America’s Healthiest Cities,” “Best and Worst Cities for Skin Care” and “Most Visually Inspiring Places in America.” Sperling’s information is available on the website, www.bestplaces.net.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., and Takeda Global Research & Development Center, Inc.

Based in Deerfield, Ill., Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., and Takeda Global Research & Development Center, Inc. are subsidiaries of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan. The respective companies currently market oral diabetes, insomnia, rheumatology, gastroenterology, and cardiovascular treatments and seek to bring innovative products to patients through a pipeline that includes compounds in development for metabolic and cardiovascular disease, gastroenterology, neurology and other conditions. To learn more about these Takeda companies, visit www.tpna.com.