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Health Topics - High Blood Pressure

108 million adults in the US have high blood pressure


High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) is a common condition that can have serious health consequences, contributing to over 400,000 deaths per year in the United States.1 About one in three adults—around 75 million—have high blood pressure, and only about half of them have their condition under control.2 Fortunately, high blood pressure is preventable and treatable.

Economic Burden

High blood pressure costs the nation $48.6 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications to treat high blood pressure, and loss of productivity from premature death. However, due to limited available data, this total doesn’t include productivity losses from morbidity—non-fatal illnesses caused by high blood pressure.3

Risk Factors

Risk factors for high blood pressure include:2

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Having prehypertension, or borderline high blood pressure

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Having diabetes

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Eating foods high in sodium

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Not getting enough physical activity

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Being obese

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Drinking too much alcohol

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Promote a Team-Based Approach to Controlling High Blood Pressure4

Team-based care is an approach to control blood pressure where care is provided by a team of health care providers who work together—such as primary care providers, nurses, pharmacists, and dietitians—rather than by a single doctor. This strategy helps patients manage their medication, increase healthy behaviors, and follow their blood pressure control plan.

Improve Access and Adherence to High Blood Pressure Medications5

Policies that help people access and then take their high blood pressure medications as prescribed will significantly cut their risk of suffering severe cardiovascular problems, such as a heart attack or stroke.

Provide Access to Self-Measure Blood Pressure (SMBP) Monitoring Devices5

Payers can increase patient access to SMBP monitoring devices to help accurately diagnose high blood pressure and to continue monitoring the patient for compliance throughout their treatment plan. Access can be increased with individual, provider, and health system incentives for reaching treatment goals.

Featured Resources

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6|18 Evidence Summary (Control High Blood Pressure)

CDC’s 6|18 initiative provides health care partners with rigorous evidence about high-burden health conditions and associated interventions to inform their decisions to have the greatest health and cost impact. This summary provides a look at high blood pressure in the United States, evidence of the effectiveness of prevention programs, and current payer coverage for these programs.

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Sodium Reduction Toolkit: A Global Opportunity to Reduce Population-Level Sodium Intake

This toolkit provides a brief overview, tools, and information for developing and implementing sodium reduction programs, policies, and initiatives aimed at lowering sodium intake.

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Million Hearts® Medication Adherence Resourcesexternal icon

This page includes numerous materials to implement policy and program strategies, including educating patients, simplifying treatment, and coordinating patient care across the health care team, can improve adherence.

Featured Tools

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Health and Budget Impacts Calculator for Team-Based Care for High Blood Pressure

Explore the projected health and cost impacts of a universal adoption of team based care to control high blood pressure.

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The Million Hearts® Hypertension Prevalence Estimator Tool

The Million Hearts® Hypertension Prevalence Estimator Tool provides the user with a health system’s expected hypertension prevalence, which is the estimated percentage of patients receiving care within the health system who have hypertension.

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National Cardiovascular Disease Surveillance System (NCVDSS)

This system integrates multiple indicators from many data sources to provide a comprehensive picture of the public health burden of heart disease and stroke and associated risk factors in the United States. Interactive data trends and maps can be created and viewed.