Many workers unaware they have high blood pressure: report

Kansas City, MO – Many workers have high blood pressure and are unaware of it, indicates a report from the Gateway Project, designed by the Mid-America Coalition on Health Care to assess the burden of hypertension in the workplace.

According to the American Heart Association, hypertension was expected to cost more than $76 billion in health care, medications and missed work in 2010. High blood pressure contributes to chronic conditions such as heart disease and stroke.

Data indicated that 19 percent of employees involved in the project reported having high blood pressure, but in actuality, 63 percent were hypertensive or pre-hypertensive. Among employees with hypertension, 38 percent also had high cholesterol. In spite of this, 52 percent of employees stated that lowering their blood pressure was “not needed” in the next six months.

Using a draft tool from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the report found that participating employers’ interventions for hypertension among employees rated only 51.6 percent, indicating more effort is needed.

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