Vital Signs: High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
The CDC Vital Signs program is a call to action each month concerning a single, important public health topic. CDC Vital Signs for February focuses on cardiovascular disease, specifically control of hypertension and cholesterol.
High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol: Out of Control in the United States
For American Heart Month, the February edition of CDC Vital Signs focuses on cardiovascular disease, specifically high blood pressure and cholesterol, two of the biggest risk factors for heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Every 39 seconds, an adult dies from a heart attack, stroke, or related disease. These conditions claim the lives of more than 800,000 adults each year, 150,000 of them are younger than age 65. The conditions are largely preventable.
- Cardiovascular diseases kill more than 800,000 adults in the US each year. Of these, 150,000 are younger than age 65.
- 68 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure.
- 71 million U.S. adults have high LDL cholesterol.
- Nearly 2 out of 3 adults with high LDL cholesterol and about half of adults with high blood pressure don’t have their condition under control.
- Having health insurance is not sufficient to achieve the control.
- Improvements in the way health care is delivered in the U.S. are needed.
Vital Signs Resources
- View the Vital Signs Web page or Fact Sheet [PDF-749K].
- Read the CDC Vital Signs Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on high blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Listen to the CDC Vital Signs Podcast or PSA on high blood pressure and cholesterol control.
- Learn More About High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol [PDF-190K].
- Download Buttons or Badges or send an e-Card for Vital Signs.
- View CDC's Video on salt.
- See local heart disease maps.
- HHS HealthBeat Podcast: Lowering High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol, March 9, 2011
- Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, A Population-Based Policy and Systems Change Approach to Prevent and Control Hypertension
- Cochrane Review: Interventions used to improve control of blood pressure in patients with hypertension
- Prevalence of Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors and Screening for High Cholesterol Levels Among Young Adults, United States, 1999–2006
- Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States
- NCHS Data Brief, Health Insurance Affects Diagnosis and Control of Hypercholesterolemia and Hypertension Among Adults Aged 20-64: United States, 2005-2008
- Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR): CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report—United States, 2011