Approximately 73.6 million people in the United States aged 20 years or older are affected by hypertension. Although significant improvements have been made with regard to awareness and treatment of hypertension, approximately 30% of adults are still unaware of their disease. Up to 40% of people with hypertension are not receiving treatment, and up to 67% of those treated are not achieving blood pressure control. Hypertension is one of the most common chronic medical conditions, and it occurs almost twice as frequently in African Americans as in whites. The rate is slightly higher in women than in men, and the incidence increases with age.4,5 

In its seventh report, the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure provided categorical definitions of hypertension, which are presented in Table 1. A...

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