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Introduction

Almost 75 million American adults—approximately one-third—have hypertension. The prevalence of hypertension increases with advancing age such that more than half of people 55 to 74 years old and approximately three-fourths of those age 75 years and older are affected. In addition to being the primary attributable risk factor for death throughout the world, hypertension results in substantial morbidity because of its impact on numerous target organs, including the brain, eyes, heart, arteries, and kidneys.

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