By Dr. Brian McDonough

KYW Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

READ MORE: Philadelphia School District's Mask Mandate Goes Back Into Effect On Monday As COVID-19 Cases Rise

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – High blood pressure is a chronic health problem and it’s what we call a progressive disorder which means it gets worse over time if not controlled. The impact is tremendous:  high blood pressure affects 72 million Americans each year.  That’s almost three out of 10 of us, 30 percent.

READ MORE: Longest Married Couple In Pennsylvania Celebrates 80th Wedding Anniversary

Like many health conditions, the incidence increases with age. But there is a larger problem. Thirty-four percent of those affected are unaware of the condition.  When we look closer at the numbers, almost half of us, 46 percent of people with hypertension, remain untreated.  It doesn’t get much better the closer you look at the numbers.  Of those we treat, only 28 percent achieve target blood pressure goals.

MORE NEWS: Marple Township Police Asking For Public's Help To Find Missing Businessman George Hughes

What does it all mean?  The numbers all point to the same conclusion.  Blood pressure is not adequately controlled in approximately 75 percent of adult patients with hypertension.  It is very important that we do whatever we can to control it.  If you are listening to this report and have not had you blood pressure checked, take the time to get it done.