Observations Yankee Doodling

Is hypertension really a neglected disease?

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c1353 (Published 10 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1353
  1. Douglas Kamerow, chief scientist, RTI International, and associate editor, BMJ
  1. dkamerow{at}rti.org

    If the US Institute of Medicine says so, it must be true

    Quick, what do you think of when you hear the term “neglected disease”? Kala-azar, perhaps, or schistosomiasis? Me, too. In fact, Wikipedia, the source of all knowledge these days (sorry, BMJ), says that the neglected diseases are “a group of tropical infections which are especially endemic in low-income populations in developing regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas.” So I was a little surprised to read a new US Institute of Medicine report that says that hypertension should be added to the list of neglected diseases (BMJ 2010;340:c1074, doi:10.1136/bmj.c1074).

    Everyone knows the IOM. Usually termed the “prestigious Institute of Medicine,” it is the most junior branch of the US National Academies, “advisers to the Nation on science, engineering, and medicine” (as their tagline has it). IOM, chartered in 1970, includes about 1200 distinguished medical doctors and scientists. They serve on various committees and issue reports on all manner of health related topics at the request of the government and foundations.

    The Centers for …

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