In related news, death rates linked to high blood pressure have increased by 72% in rural areas and 20% in urban U.S. communities, according to another presentation at the Scientific Session. Researchers at the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine in Burlington examined nationwide data for more than 10 million deaths between 2007 and 2017.

“Hypertension-related cardiovascular deaths are rising in the U.S. across all age groups, all regions and in both urban and rural populations,” said lead study author Lakshmi Nambiar, MD, cardiovascular disease fellow at the University. “These findings are alarming and warrant further investigation, as well as preventative efforts.” More research is needed to determine the causes and reasons for regional differences. Increasing exercise and improving diet are ways to address hypertension.

The study is available in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (2020;doi:10.1016
/j.acc.2020.03.009).