CDC report: Hypertension-related deaths jump over 60 percent

It's almost inevitable that immediately prior to any doctor appointment that you will hear the sound of the Velcro tearing on a blood pressure cuff. That's because medical professionals want to be aware if you are suffering from high blood pressure, or hypertension, as this can affect not only any treatment they might provide, but also your general health.

Indeed, hypertension has long been linked to an elevated risk of both heart disease -- identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the leading cause of death in the U.S. -- and stroke.

As it turns out, the CDC recently released a report examining the death rate related to hypertension and the results were somewhat alarming.

What exactly did the CDC study find?

After examining data from a national cause-of-death database, the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics found that hypertension-related deaths here in the U.S. jumped by close to 62 percent from 2000 to 2013, and that these rates increased for both males and females over the age of 44.

What constituted a "hypertension-related death?"

The CDC researchers classified hypertension-related deaths as those instances where the death certificate made any express reference to hypertension, meaning it could have been identified either as a contributing factor or the underlying cause of death.

What else did the CDC study determine?

Curiously, the CDC researchers found that the rates of death where hypertension was listed as a contributing factor and heart disease was listed as the underlying cause actually declined by 6 percent.

Similarly, they found that the rates of death where hypertension was listed as a contributing factor and stroke was listed as the underlying cause declined by 5 percent.

What do these findings mean?

According to medical experts, the results show that people need to be more attuned to the fact that the health risks associated with hypertension are perhaps more widespread than they might believe.

"This is an important message to get out that there are multiple reasons you want to get rid of hypertension, not just reducing stroke and heart disease, but minimizing the impact on diabetes and reducing your risk for cancer," said one medical professor unaffiliated with the study.

If you've been diagnosed with severe hypertension, or have been left unable to work because of a crippling stroke or ongoing battle with heart disease, consider contacting a skilled legal professional who can help you determine whether you are a good candidate for Social Security disability benefits. Together, you can work toward securing the assistance you need.