Blood Pressure Categories by Race/Ethnicity, United States
Know your blood pressure level and check it regularly; detect high blood pressure before it causes serious health problems.
This Data & Statistics feature highlights the percentage distribution of blood pressure categories by race/ethnicity as measured in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
Blood pressure categories are based on the classification recommended by the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure and are defined as follows: normal (systolic blood pressure <120 mm Hg and a diastolic blood pressure <80 mm Hg); pre-hypertension (systolic blood pressure 120--139 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure 80--89 mm Hg); hypertension stage 1 (systolic blood pressure 140--159 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure 90--99 mm Hg); and hypertension stage 2 (systolic blood pressure >160 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure >100 mm Hg). Persons are classified into the higher blood pressure group if the systolic and diastolic values fall within more than one category. Categories do not account for blood pressure treatment status.
Blood pressure category varied substantially by race/ethnicity. Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites were more likely to have normal blood pressure compared with non-Hispanic blacks. Conversely, higher percentages of non-Hispanic blacks had hypertension stage 1 and hypertension stage 2 compared with non-Hispanic whites and Mexican Americans.
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999--2004. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes.htm.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. QuickStats: Percentage Distribution of Blood Pressure Categories Among Adults Aged >18 Years, by Race/Ethnicity --- National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, United States, 1999—2004. MMWR 2007:56(24);611.
- CDC Blood Pressure site
- National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) site
- Listen to podcasts about high blood pressure
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR 2008:57(04):
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR 2007:56(19).
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevalence of Actions to Control High Blood Pressure --- 20 States, 2005. MMWR 2007:56(17);420-423.
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