Millions of Americans have uncontrolled blood pressure - report
The condition is the second most serious public health issue. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the country, according to the CDC.
Frieden said patients with high blood pressure are either not receiving a correct combination or dosage of medication or are not keeping up with their medication.
Some doctors are not warning patients who have had multiple readings of high-blood pressure, a problem Frieden said could be solved by better systems to track patients.
Of the 36 million Americans with uncontrolled hypertension, about 14 million were not aware of their condition and about 22 million either chose not to take medication or were on inadequate treatment, according to the report, which surveyed adults between 2003 and 2010.
"I think there's clearly a lot of room for improvement," Frieden said, noting that controlling blood pressure often means taking multiple medications daily for the rest of one's life.