High blood pressure is a common and dangerous condition. Having high blood pressure means the pressure of the blood in your blood vessels is higher than it should be. But you can take steps to control your blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
About 1 of 3 U.S. adults—or about 70 million people—have high blood pressure.1 Only about half (52%) of these people have their high blood pressure under control.1 This common condition increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, 2 of the leading causes of death for Americans.2 Get more quick facts about high blood pressure, or learn more about high blood pressure in the United States.
High blood pressure is called the "silent killer" because it often has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people do not know they have it. That's why it is important to check your blood pressure regularly.
People of all ages, genders, and ethnicities are at risk for heart disease and stroke. However, certain populations, including African Americans, are at higher risk than others. The good news is you can beat these conditions. When it comes to reducing your risk for heart disease and stroke, the decisions you make every day—and can control—play a big role.
Nearly 1 in 3 deaths in the U.S. each year is caused by heart disease and stroke. At least 200,000 of these deaths could have been prevented through changes in health habits, such as stopping smoking, more physical activity, and less salt in the diet; community changes to create healthier living spaces, such as smoke-free areas and safe places to exercise; and managing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Have you talked about a goal for your blood pressure with your health care provider? If not, consider doing so at your next visit. One in three American adults has high blood pressure, also called hypertension. Learn how to make control your goal.
Did you know that 67 million American adults have high blood pressure? That’s 1 in every 3 American adults, and only about half of these individuals have their condition under control. This infographic can help you make blood pressure control your goal, every day.
Clinicians, public health practitioners, health care systems, and individuals can improve blood pressure control and health outcomes for patients with high blood pressure. Self-measured blood pressuring monitoring is one strategy to reach those objectives.
Four weeks is enough time to achieve some big improvements in your heart health. Think about making 1 small change each week to lower sodium, get active, quit smoking, and control blood pressure to boost your heart health this month.
Most of the sodium we eat is in the form of salt. Too much sodium is bad for your health. It can increase your blood pressure and your risk for a heart attack or stroke. Heart disease and stroke are the first and fourth killers of men and women in the United States.
- Nwankwo T, Yoon SS, Burt V, Gu Q. Hypertension among adults in the US: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2011-2012. NCHS Data Brief, No. 133. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Dept of Health and Human Services, 2013.
- Farley TA, Dalal MA, Mostashari F, Frieden TR. Deaths preventable in the US by improvements in the use of clinical preventive services. Am J Prev Med. 2010;38:600-9.
- Page last reviewed: February 19, 2015
- Page last updated: February 19, 2015
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