Hypertension and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Hypertension affects from 17% to 25% of all Americans. Because of its fundamental charge to help protect the public health, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is substantially concerned with the condition. Additionally, hypertension represents a significant source of underwriting risk to which HHS is exposed in its role as health insurer of the poor and the elderly. HHS has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in hypertension research, development and testing of treatment regimens, and education of health care providers and consumers. However, much of the etiology of hypertension still eludes us. Sodium's apparent importance as a "causal" agent to the development of hypertension, and in its treatment, has waxed and waned over the past several generations; research to date has not yet finally settled the issue. Is sodium or some other cation the key? While research on this issue continues, HHS is currently faced with deciding whether and how to require inclusion of sodium content in nutrition labelling. In the debate, attention has to be given not only to the current best evidence on sodium; additional issues of consumer choice, costs, and education are also of importance.
- Copyright © 1982 by American Heart Association