High Blood Pressure Facts
Learn more about high blood pressure and its risk factors. It's important for everyone to know the facts about high blood pressure [PDF-255K].
High Blood Pressure in the United States
- 67 million American adults (31%) have high blood pressure—that’s 1 in every 3 adults.1
- Only about half (47%) of people with high blood pressure have their condition under control.1
- Nearly 1 in 3 American adults has prehypertension—blood pressure numbers that are higher than normal, but not yet in the high blood pressure range.2
- High blood pressure costs the nation $47.5 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications to treat high blood pressure, and missed days of work.3
Blood Pressure Levels Vary by Age
Women are about as likely as men to develop high blood pressure during their lifetimes. However, for people younger than 45 years old, the condition affects more men than women. For people 65 years and older, high blood pressure affects more women than men.2
|Age||Men (%)||Women (%)|
|75 and older||66.7||78.5|
Blood Pressure Levels Vary by Race and Ethnicity
Blacks develop high blood pressure more often, and at an earlier age, than whites and Hispanics do. More black women than men have high blood pressure.2
|Race of Ethnic Group||Men (%)||Women (%)|
Why Blood Pressure Matters
More than 348,000 American deaths in 2009 included high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause.2 That’s 1,000 deaths each day.
High blood pressure increases your risk for dangerous health conditions:
- First heart attack: About 7 of every 10 of people having their first heart attack have high blood pressure.2
- First stroke: About 8 of every 10 of people having their first stroke have high blood pressure.2
- Chronic (long lasting) heart failure: About 7 of every 10 people with chronic heart failure have high blood pressure.2
- Kidney disease is also a major risk factor for high blood pressure.
Although you can’t control all of your risk factors for high blood pressure, you can take steps to prevent or control high blood pressure and its complications.
Talk with Your Health Care Team About Blood Pressure
- Since 1999, more people with high blood pressure—especially those age 60 and older—have become aware of their condition and gotten treatment. Unfortunately, about 1 in 5 U.S. adults with high blood pressure still don't know that they have it.2
- About 7 in 10 U.S. adults with high blood pressure use medications to treat the condition.1
- In 2009, Americans visited their health care providers more than 55 million times to treat high blood pressure.2
- Team-based care that includes the patient, primary care provider, and other health care providers is a recommended strategy to reduce and control blood pressure.5
Reducing average population sodium intake from 3,400 milligrams (mg) to 2,300 mg per day—the level recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010—may reduce cases of high blood pressure by 11 million and save 18 billion health care dollars every year.4
CDC Fact Sheets Related to High Blood Pressure
- High Blood Pressure
- Pulmonary Hypertension
- Heart Disease
- Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack
- Signs and Symptoms of Stroke
- Atrial Fibrillation
- High Cholesterol
- CDC. Vital signs: awareness and treatment of uncontrolled hypertension among adults—United States, 2003–2010. MMWR. 2012;61(35):703–9.
- Go AS, Mozaffarian D, Roger VL, Benjamin EJ, Berry JD, Borden WB, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2013 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2013;127:e6–245.
- Heidenreich PA, Trogdon JG, Khavjou OA, Butler J, Dracup K, Ezekowitz MD, et al. Forecasting the future of cardiovascular disease in the United States: a policy statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2011;123:933–44.
- Palar K, Sturm R. Potential societal savings from reduced sodium consumption in the U.S. adult population. Am J Health Promot. 2009;24:49–57.
- Guide to Community Preventive Services. Cardiovascular disease prevention and control: team-based care to improve blood pressure control.