A growing number of Americans with high blood pressure are keeping their condition under control, a new U.S. government study reports.

Researchers examined national data on more than 9,200 people with high blood pressure -- a reading of at least 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) -- who were surveyed between 2003 and 2012.

The results showed that the number of people who achieved optimal blood pressure (less than 120/80 mm Hg) rose from 13 percent to 27 percent in that time frame. And the percentage who achieved pre-hypertensive levels of blood pressure (between 120/80 mm Hg and 139/89 mm Hg) rose from 19 percent to 33 percent.

The findings were to be presented Sunday at the American Heart Association (AHA) annual meeting in Chicago and were published simultaneously in the AHA journal Hypertension.

"This is definitely good news," according to Sung Sug Yoon from the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where the study was conducted.

The increasing number of Americans with high blood pressure who are keeping their condition under control has reduced the numbers of heart attacks and strokes, and hospitalizations and deaths due to heart disease, the researchers noted in an AHA news release.

However, they added, 48 percent of those with high blood pressure still do not have it under control, which is well above the goal of 38 percent in the federal government's Healthy People 2020 initiative.

According to government reports, one in three American adults has high blood pressure, which increases the risk for heart disease and stroke.

Government researchers report the numbers are looking better, but national...

Government researchers report the numbers are looking better, but national goal not yet reached Credit: HealthDay

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about high blood pressure.

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