High Blood Pressure Statistics - Featured Image

32 High Blood Pressure Statistics & Facts to Know in 2019

by Hermina Drah

You may find the following high blood pressure statistics in this article concerning. However, before diving deeper into details, it’s important to understand the basic facts about the condition. 

First, high blood pressure, or hypertension, is a chronic disease in which a person’s blood pressure in the arteries is consistently elevated. The tricky thing about the disease is that it typically doesn’t display any symptoms. Nevertheless, if left undiagnosed and untreated, it may put a person under the risk of developing heart failure, stroke, loss of vision, dementia, and even chronic kidney disease.

The Top 10 Hypertension Facts and Statistics

  • Nearly 30% of adults in the United States suffer from prehypertension, which puts them at a high risk of developing high blood pressure.
  • Around 630,000 Americans die from heart disease every year.
  • In the US, hypertension affects around 40.8 million men and 44.9 million women.
  • If US sodium intake were reduced from 3,300 mg to 2,300 mg daily, it may save the nation $18 billion in health care costs.
  • Statistics on hypertension show that it costs US citizens around $131 billion in health care services and medications every year.
  • Puerto Ricans had 154 high blood pressure-related deaths per 100,000 people in 2002.
  • It’s estimated that 26% of the world’s population suffers from hypertension.
  • Around 4% of the youth in the United States suffers from hypertension.
  • The prevalence of hypertension and prehypertension in obese adolescents is more than 30% in boys and around 23%–30% in girls.
  • The heritability of hypertension is around 30%–50%.

Hypertension Statistics in the United States

High Blood Pressure Statistics - America

1. Around 20% of adults in the United States are unaware that they have high blood pressure.

(AMGF)

What makes hypertension extremely dangerous is that there are usually no clear accompanying symptoms that help an individual identify the condition. However, it’s important to look out for clues such as frequent, severe headaches, confusion, vision problems, chest pain, an irregular heartbeat, and blood in the urine. But due to the frequent lack of symptoms, according to the hypertension stats published, the condition is popularly known as the “silent killer.” 

2. Nearly 30% of adults in the United States suffer from prehypertension, which puts them at a high risk of developing high blood pressure.

(WebMD)

Prehypertension occurs when the systolic reading is between 120 and 139 mmHg or when the diastolic reading is between 80 and 89 mmHg. In short, prehypertension is defined as an important warning sign that an individual may get high blood pressure if left untreated. According to the CDC, the hypertension statistics show that around 30% of adults have prehypertension in the United States. Richard Stein, an MD who specializes in preventing cardiovascular disease, notes that an individual is more likely to get prehypertension if he or she suffers from diabetes or high cholesterol or has a family member with hypertension.

3. It is estimated that around 75 million people in the United States suffer from high blood pressure.

(CDC) 

Hypertension is an increasingly frequent illness affecting adults and children of all ages and genders. According to the blood pressure statistics, around 75 million Americans suffer from high blood pressure, which is 29% of the adult population in the US. In other words, almost one in every three adults in the United States deals with the chronic medical condition.

4. Every year, around 630,000 Americans in the US die from heart disease.

(CDC) 

Cardiovascular disease, a condition that involves the narrowing or blocking of blood vessels in the body, leads to heart attack, stroke, and chest pain—and it’s the leading cause of death in the US. Based on the blood pressure stats published by the CDC, more than half a million Americans die from heart disease each year. In fact, one in every four deaths in the US is associated with cardiovascular disease.

5. According to 2017’s hypertension guidelines, nearly 46% of American adults will be diagnosed with the condition.

(AHA)

This recent guideline includes some important new statistics, which claim that it’s highly likely that more American adults will be diagnosed with the dangerous condition. The previous guideline allowed for the diagnosis of just 32% of adults. Fortunately, the hypertension statistics from 2017 show that new patients can successfully treat hypertension with significant lifestyle changes without the use of medication.

6. In the US, hypertension affects around 40.8 million men and 44.9 million women.

(MedScape) 

Research dealing with age- and gender-adjusted trends in high blood pressure among American adults found that the chronic medical condition affects both men and women nearly equally. Furthermore, the blood pressure facts verified by researchers indicate that it’s less common in younger women compared to men. However, it’s more common in elderly women over the age of 65 than their male counterparts.

The Financial Costs of High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure Statistics - Cost of Hypertension

7. Individuals who suffer from hypertension face around $2,000 more in annual healthcare expenditures when compared with their healthy peers.

(AHA Journals)

A study utilizing the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey’s data found that hypertension patients pay around $2,000 more on annual healthcare than their healthy peers. Furthermore, the hypertension statistics from this study have shown that the trend has not shifted in the last 12 years, and possibly longer.

8. Every year, Americans with hypertension pay a country-wide total of $131 billion in health care services and medications due to high blood pressure.

(AHA Journals) 

The same study from the previous stat, conducted by Elizabeth B. Kirkland, found additional important facts about high blood pressure and the subsequent health care costs. Along with the $131 billion in public costs, patients with this illness have an estimated 2.5 times higher inpatient costs, twice the outpatient costs, and triple the prescription medication costs every year. These alarming facts greatly motivate individuals to make an effort to manage or, better yet, prevent the condition. 

9. The annual costs directly linked to high blood pressure are estimated to increase by $130.4 billion between 2010 and 2030.

(AMGF) 

Unfortunately, the future prognosis on the medical condition’s cost is not optimistic. The stats on hypertension estimate that the annual expenditures will increase to $130.4 billion in 2030 compared with 2010. In total, the projected annual cost will be around $200.3 billion by 2030.

10. If the country’s average sodium intake were reduced from 3,300 mg to 2,300 mg daily, it may save the nation $18 billion in health care costs.

(CDC, AMFG) 

With the fast-food industry still on the rise in the United States, more and more people are living unhealthy, sedentary lives. And junk food is full of unnecessary sodium, which makes the body retain more water. In turn, the extra stored water raises blood pressure, and it puts significant strain on the kidneys, heart, brain, and arteries. The stats on high blood pressure show that if overall sodium intake were reduced in the US, it could prevent over 10 million cases of high blood pressure.

Racial Disparities and Hypertension Statistics Worldwide

High Blood Pressure Statistics - Worldwide

11. Around 43% of African American men and 45.7% of African American women suffer from high blood pressure.

(Heart.org, Georgia DPH)

Research has found that the prevalence of this chronic medical condition in non-Hispanic African American adults is the highest in the world, with more than an estimated 40% in both men and women. More precisely, African American high blood pressure statistics show that African American women are more likely to suffer from hypertension (45.7%) than their male counterparts (43%).

12. The African American population is more likely to get high blood pressure earlier in life than other demographics.

(Heart.org) 

Furthermore, researchers have also concluded that African American individuals are more likely to develop high blood pressure earlier in life in comparison with individuals of other backgrounds. Also, the hypertension statistics by race show that this medical condition is much more severe in African Americans than others. Some of the theories that may explain the high rates of hypertension among this group deal with obesity and diabetes, as well as the fact that African Americans may have a gene that makes them more likely to be salt sensitive.

13. Puerto Rico had 154 deaths related to high blood pressure per 100,000 people in 2002.

(NBC News)

The hypertension statistics show that Puerto Ricans have a much greater death rate from this condition compared to black, white, or other Hispanic American citizens. Furthermore, the research into the death certificate data found that American Puerto Ricans had 154 instances of deaths related to hypertension per 100,000 people in 2002. 

14. The lowest rates of high blood pressure appear among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, at 9.7% for men and around 8.4% for women.

(MedScape, AMGF) 

According to the high blood pressure stats, Asian American citizens and Pacific Islanders display the lowest rates of hypertension. However, in general, information on hypertension rates in Asian Americans, American Indians, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders is limited. Comparatively, South Asians display an increased CHD risk, presumably linked to the metabolic syndrome explained by insulin resistance, obesity, and dyslipidemia in the United States.

15. In 2010, 28.5% of adults in high-income countries and 31.5% of adults in low- and middle-income countries had hypertension.

(NCBI, HealthPolicy) 

A study examining the global disparities of high blood pressure’s prevalence, treatment, and awareness found that individuals from high-income countries are slightly less likely to suffer from hypertension than individuals from low- and middle-income countries. It’s worthwhile to note that the high blood pressure statistics from 2019 found that most individuals from low- and middle-income countries suffering from hypertension aren’t receiving the necessary treatment.

16. About 30% of hypertension cases are associated with increased salt consumption, and 20% with low dietary potassium.

(WHLeague, ScienceDaily) 

Even though salt is an essential nutrient in the human body responsible for proper nerve and muscle function, an increasing number of people are getting too much of it through their unhealthy diets. In addition, numerous high blood pressure facts claim that low levels of potassium in the body further contribute to the development of hypertension. According to the professionals, individuals should include more high-potassium foods like bananas and veggies while lowering their sodium intake.

17. On a worldwide scale, 26% of people suffer from hypertension.

(MedScape, NCBI) 

Epidemiological statistics of hypertension from 2019 have found that around 972 million people around the world suffer from hypertension. Furthermore, the statistics show that the prevalence is going to increase to 29% by 2025. It’s also noted that this rise is especially driven by increases in nations with a developing economy.

Hypertension and the Youth

High Blood Pressure Statistics - Young People

18. A child has hypertension when their blood pressure is higher than 95% of children of the same gender, age, and height.

(MayoClinic) 

Children can develop high blood pressure as well. According to the facts about hypertension in children, the causes are the same as in adults. For example, being overweight or obese, making poor diet choices, and not getting daily exercise may make a child prone to hypertension.

19. Around 4% of the youth in the United States suffers from hypertension.

(CDC) 

However, the prevalence of hypertension among children and adolescents shows some improvement in the US, according to the CDC’s facts about blood pressure. The updated American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Practice Guideline from 2017 and a recent study published by the CDC found that around 4% of the youth aged 12–19 in the US suffers from hypertension. In addition, young individuals who were also obese had the highest prevalence rates of hypertension.

20. 10% of the youth in the United States aged 12–19 have elevated blood pressure (or prehypertension).

(CDC) 

The same study by the CDC dealing with high blood pressure statistics from 2018 also found that not only does 4% of US youth aged 12–19 have hypertension, but about 10% of these young individuals have elevated blood pressure, or prehypertension. Prehypertension is defined as blood pressure values that are above normal, optimal levels. In other words, in a classroom of 30 young students, one is likely to suffer from hypertension and around 3 more students will have elevated levels of blood pressure.

21. The prevalence of hypertension and prehypertension together in obese adolescents is at least 30% in boys and around 23%–30% in girls.

(AAFP) 

According to important statistics of hypertension, the greatest risk factor of prehypertension and hypertension in children (and in adults!) is being overweight or obese. Obesity is directly related to poor nutrition and lack of exercise. A study published in 2012 found that the combined prevalence of both conditions in obese adolescents is greater than a whopping 30% in boys and around 23%–30% in girls. Furthermore, the study also notes that hypertension in childhood is connected with hypertension in adulthood, as well as premature death.

22. Additional alarming but interesting facts about hypertension claim that 80% of children with secondary hypertension have kidney disease or a blood vessel abnormality.

(Boston Children’s Hospital) 

Secondary hypertension, also called secondary high blood pressure, is high blood pressure due to another medical condition. More than three quarters of the children with secondary hypertension also suffer from kidney disease, a problem in the kidneys or the arteries that causes poor blood flow to the kidneys. This leads to elevated levels of renin production and raised blood pressure.

23. 5% of children with secondary hypertension suffer from an endocrinological disorder.

(Boston Children’s Hospital, NCBI) 

These important, interesting facts about high blood pressure claim that a small percentage of the causes of secondary hypertension in children is connected to endocrinological disorders. These can include primary aldosteronism, Cushing’s syndrome, hypo- and hyperthyroidism, and pheochromocytoma. In young patients with Cushing’s syndrome, a pituitary tumor, or other factors that lead to abnormal cortisol production may cause secondary hypertension.

24. And 2%–5% of these children suffer from heart disease.

(AHA Journals, Boston Children’s Hospital) 

According to the hypertension statistics from 2019 concerning heart disease, an individual dies of cardiovascular disease every 38 seconds, on average. Hypertension heart disease is caused by high blood pressure, and it may affect around 2%–5% of the young population. In fact, hypertensive heart disease is associated with heart failure, coronary artery disease, thickening of the heart muscle, and many other serious conditions. Furthermore, it’s important to know that children younger than six years old are more prone to secondary hypertension than primary hypertension. 

25. It’s estimated that the heritability of hypertension is 30%–50%.

(UpToDate) 

Even though many people would assume that hypertension is exclusively a side-effect of poor lifestyle choices, many high blood pressure statistics have shown that the condition may also be a genetic trait. More importantly, family and twin studies have estimated that the heritability of high blood pressure is between 30% and 50%. Furthermore, studies have found evidence that the genes that lead to hypertension are 2.4 times more frequent in patients who have two parents with hypertension.

High Blood Pressure Facts and Myths

High Blood Pressure Statistics - Myths

26. Consulting with a professional and getting treatment doesn’t work.

(WebMD) 

Many may be discouraged by reaching out to a professional for help and much-needed treatment, expecting that treatment won’t always deliver positive results. However, to reap the benefits, a patient must get regular check-ups, stay on track with their treatment plan, analyze their blood pressure frequently, and reduce sodium intake.

27. Eliminating table salt from your diet is enough to control hypertension.

(Heart.org) 

Many falsely believe that to reduce sodium intake and get full control over daily sodium consumption, it’s enough to stop using table salt when in the kitchen. However, the facts about sodium and high blood pressure show us that an increasing number of people fail to check labels on products.

In fact, much of the sodium we consume daily (nearly three quarters) is hidden in canned, processed staples such as soups, condiments, and even tomato sauce. Experts urge people to always read the labels when shopping and to avoid food items containing the terms “soda” and “sodium,” as well as the symbol “Na.”

28. High blood pressure can’t be prevented.

(WebMD) 

Hypertension statistics worldwide from 2018 and onwards show that the chronic medical condition is a global burden. However, the reality of the situation is that it can be prevented in time by implementing some important steps. These include keeping your weight at a healthy level, incorporating more whole foods full of nutrients into the diet, eliminating calorie-dense junk food that’s high in sugar and salt, limiting sodium intake, limiting alcohol consumption, working out daily, and quitting smoking.

FAQs

High Blood Pressure Statistics - FAQ

What is the number 1 cause of high blood pressure?

Experts have not found the exact causes of high blood pressure, but there are several risk factors that may play a significant role in the development of the disease. One of the most frequent causes of hypertension, especially in adults, is smoking and excessive stress.

Furthermore, being overweight (or obese), not getting any daily exercise, and a diet high in sodium may also increase the risk of unhealthy blood pressure levels. Working out, eating a well-balanced diet, and making better lifestyle choices may help individuals suffering from hypertension.

What percentage of the population has high blood pressure?

The latest data from 2019 indicates that nearly a billion people around the world have hypertension. This is over a quarter, or 26% of the world’s population. US statistics show an even greater prevalence – 29% of Americans have high blood pressure, which is over 75 million people.

What country has the highest blood pressure levels? 

On a global scale, Africa has the greatest rates of high blood pressure. Residents have a 1.8-fold higher rate of fatal stroke due to heart disease. Research has found that black adults from all around the world are more likely to suffer from hypertension compared to other ethnicities.

Even though the prevalence is extremely high among white adults as well, the high blood pressure statistics worldwide show that the condition develops later in life for this group in comparison with black patients. In fact, the World Health Organization found that the rate of hypertension was around 46% of individuals of both genders in Africa.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this condition is one of the most prevalent in the US, and the whole world, according to high blood pressure statistics. The prevalence of hypertension presents a huge public health challenge that can be combated with a healthier lifestyle, weight management, frequent physical activity, and the restriction of sodium, alcohol, and smoking. Hopefully, by making realistic changes in diet, exercise, and stress management, we’ll see a decline in these rates in the future.

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