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Among the committee's findings:
Too many doctors ignore hypertension if only the top number in a blood pressure reading -- the systolic pressure -- is high. That's contrary to treatment guidelines.
Too little potassium and too much sodium fuel high blood pressure, and only 2 percent of adults eat enough potassium, which is found in fruits and vegetables.
CDC should work with food makers to lower the sodium hidden inside processed foods, our main source of sodium. The average adult is thought to eat about 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day; the recommended daily limit is 2,300 mg.
If everyone who is overweight lost 10 pounds, the nation's hypertension cases could drop 8 percent.
The government should work with insurers to reduce or eliminate copayments for blood pressure medications, and with drug companies to simplify patient-assistance programs for the poor.
The Institute of Medicine is part of the National Academies, an independent organization chartered by Congress to advise the government on scientific matters.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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