How can you help yourself or others who might have hypertension? Regularly measuring your blood pressure is the first step. Knowing who it affects, what puts people at risk, and, most importantly, how to manage raised blood pressure will put you on the right track towards successfully controlling your BP and potentially saving your life and the lives of others.
Key Hypertension Statistics to Help You Keep the Beat Going
- Less than 120/80 mm Hg is considered to be normal blood pressure.
- Hypertension can be successfully managed in 9 out of 10 cases.
- Around 1.13 billion people on the planet have high blood pressure.
- Almost 46% of American adults suffer from hypertension.
- 7.5 million people in the world are believed to have died as a result of high blood pressure.
- Men are more prone to hypertension than women.
- People over 45 are more likely to experience rising blood pressure.
- There is a direct link between obesity and hypertension.
- Hypertension costs the US around $131 billion every year.
- Dietary and herbal supplements provide many benefits to hypertensive patients with little to no side effects.
Basic Hypertension Facts
1. High blood pressure can affect anyone.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a condition in which the long-term force of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels is too high. Nearly everyone has experienced or will have elevated blood pressure at some point in their lives. The good news is that it’s easily detectable in regular medical examinations. In addition to your doctor’s office, there are machines available in stores that will read your blood pressure levels in a heartbeat.
2. Blood pressure facts indicate that hypertension is also known as the “silent killer.”
The bad news about high blood pressure is that it can develop over time and usually has several related causes. Still, the most dangerous aspect of this condition is that it is asymptomatic. The lack of apparent symptoms and people stating that they feel fine has resulted in almost 11 million US adults not being aware that they have high BP.
3. Blood pressure is measured in two numbers.
The top number — according to any blood pressure facts sheet — is the systolic blood pressure. It measures the pressure in your blood vessels as your heart muscles contract, i.e., when your heart beats. The bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure, which measures pressure when your heart relaxes.
4. Less than 120/80 mm Hg is considered to be normal blood pressure.
According to the CDC, the blood pressure guidelines from 2003 defined high blood pressure as consistently being 140/90 mm Hg or higher. However, under the 2017 guidelines on high blood pressure, the facts show that physicians can diagnose patients with high hypertension if their blood pressure is consistently 130/80 mm Hg.
5. Elevated blood pressure reads between 120–129 mm Hg over 80 mm Hg.
Elevated blood pressure is not as dangerous as hypertension and medications are not usually prescribed. But be warned: Elevated BP could quickly turn into high blood pressure if it isn’t adequately managed.
6. Blood pressure that is consistently at 140/90 mm Hg or higher is defined as stage 2 hypertension.
According to the facts about hypertension, stage 2 means that medical attention is required as well as a drastic lifestyle change. If your pressure is over 180/120 mm Hg, you should contact your doctor at once. Experiencing chest pain or shortness of breath with these levels of BP means you need urgent medical attention.
7. Hypertension can be successfully managed in 9 out of 10 cases.
A healthy lifestyle and regular check-ups can keep your blood pressure under control as well as help you avoid the development of other harmful health conditions.
How Common Is Hypertension?
8. Around 1.13 billion people on the planet have high blood pressure.
From this estimated number of people living with hypertension, less than one in five have it under control.
9. Almost 46% of American adults suffer from hypertension.
Under the new guidelines of the American Heart Association on blood pressure, the number of people suffering from hypertension in America increased to around 103 million. The new guidelines also put 36% of adults under recommendation for blood pressure medication, thus increasing their number from 72 million to 83 million, the hypertension statistics from 2018 reveal.
10. The prevalence of hypertension is lowest in Western and Asian countries.
(WHO, The Economist)
Two-thirds of the people affected by high blood pressure live in low- and middle-income countries. Hence, it’s not surprising that affluent countries such as the US, Canada, and South Korea have some of the lowest hypertension rates in the world.
11. Mississippi has the highest hypertension mortality rate for high blood pressure, at 15.9%.
In terms of the number of deaths, the high blood pressure statistics indicate that California is ranked the highest, with 5,551 deaths per 100,000 total population. Wyoming is ranked the lowest both in high blood pressure death rates and the number of deaths (5.1% and 36 per 100,000 total population, respectively).
Consequences of High Blood Pressure
12. Around 7.5 million people in the world are believed to have died as a result of high blood pressure.
Raised blood pressure was cited as the primary or contributing cause of half a million deaths in the US in 2017; the mortality and blood pressure stats reveal. Hypertension is also one of the major causes of premature death worldwide.
13. A whopping 69% of people who have their first heart attack and 77% of first stroke victims also have high BP.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases the risk of coronary diseases and stroke, both of which are the leading causes of death globally.
14. Apart from cardiovascular disease (CVD), high BP can lead to many other complications.
Hypertension is the second leading cause of kidney failure in the USA, preceded only by diabetes. Furthermore, a January 2020 study on hypertension stats and emerging diseases found that nearly half of a group of 170 casualties from the coronavirus outbreak had high blood pressure.
15. Some studies link hypertension to dementia.
(CDC, Being Patient)
There is evidence that uncontrolled hypertension, usually in individuals between 45–65, increases the risk of cognitive impairment later in life. Another study found that women who have high blood pressure in their 40s have 73% more chances of suffering from dementia later in life.
Who Is Most Affected by High Blood Pressure?
16. Men are more prone to hypertension than women.
(The Economist, CDC, AHA)
A fifth of women and a quarter of men around the world are believed to have high BP. In the US, 47% of men and 43% of women suffer from this condition. However, as people age, the tables turn. After the age of 65, women are more likely to have hypertension than men.
17. The hypertension rate among pregnant women in the US nearly doubled from 1993–2014.
(Medical News Today, CDC)
According to the CDC hypertension statistics, 6–8% of pregnant women between 20–44 are affected by hypertension. High BP can cause several complications during pregnancy and birth, such as damaging the kidneys and other organs, or even early delivery.
18. People over 45 are more likely to experience rising blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a condition none of us can escape as we get older. Over 90% of adults in their 80s will develop hypertension, and nearly half of people will have it by the time they are 60, the blood pressure statistics suggest.
19. Kids and young people can have high blood pressure, too.
Blood pressure tends to rise with age, which doesn’t mean that younger individuals can’t develop hypertension too. Around one in four males between the ages of 35–44, and almost one in five women of the same age in the US have hypertension. On top of that, an estimated 2.6% of youths in the USA (around 800,000 people) have unhealthy blood pressure.
20. African American high blood pressure statistics show that blacks are more at risk of developing high blood pressure.
(CDC, AHA, CardioSmart)
More than half (54%) of African American adults are hypertensive. An extensive study monitoring participants for up to 30 years discovered that blacks are 1.5–2 times more at risk of high BP than whites. Additionally, hypertension develops at an earlier age among African-Americans and is usually more severe.
21. Hispanic adults have the lowest hypertension rate, high blood pressure statistics from 2019 reveal.
Around 36% of the Hispanic population in the US is affected by high BP, while the hypertension rates are also lower among non-Hispanic Asian adults, at 39%.
22. There is a direct link between obesity and hypertension.
Obesity is the cause of unhealthy blood pressure in 78% of the hypertension cases among male patients and 65% among females.
23. Working long hours can increase blood pressure levels.
Here’s one of the more interesting facts about high blood pressure: A study of white-collar employees found that people who clock in more than 49 hours a week are 70% more at risk of developing a form of hypertension that isn’t registered in medical check-ups. Office workers who did overtime for nine or more hours were 66% more likely to have hypertension than people who work for 35 hours or less.
24. Smoking doesn’t have a direct effect on high blood pressure.
When it comes to high blood pressure and stroke, the statistics prove that smoking can increase the risk of a CVA or heart attack in people already suffering from hypertension. Therefore, doctors recommend quitting smoking as one of the lifestyle changes to be made among hypertensive patients.
The Cost of Hypertension
25. Hypertension makes up for 57 million disability-adjusted life years globally.
(WHO, Dove Press)
This translates to around 3.7% of total DALYS. Hypertension is one of the leading contributors to the global burden of disease. Looking at the costs and statistics on hypertension, it’s also one of the most severe non-communicable medical conditions, and it puts a considerable strain on the economy and health of a country.
26. Hypertension costs the US around $131 billion every year.
According to the study that took place between 2003–2014, this surprisingly large amount covers health care services, prescription drugs, and missed workdays.
27. Hypertensive patients pay $1,920 more for health services than people who don’t have high blood pressure.
The hypertension statistics indicate that adults with unhealthy blood pressure spend nearly twice as much on outpatient costs, 2.5 times on inpatient costs, and almost three times more on prescription drugs and hypertension medication.
28. Hypertension costs the US $47.5 billion every year in direct medical expenses alone.
The estimated expenditure for this condition is expected to increase from $110.6 in 2015 to $220.9 billion by 2035.
Facts About High Blood Pressure: Management and Treatment
29. Lowering blood pressure reduces your chances of heart failure by 50%.
By treating and managing hypertension, you are 20–25% less likely to have a myocardial infarction and almost 40% less at risk of experiencing a stroke.
30. A range of medications is available for the treatment of hypertension.
Medication usually prescribed for stage 2 hypertension includes ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers (that tighten the blood vessels), alpha-blockers and calcium channel blockers (that relax the arteries), and diuretics (that decrease the amount of fluid in the blood vessels).
31. Steer clear of sodium, facts about sodium and high blood pressure reveal.
A diet rich in salt is one of the causes of unhealthy blood pressure. According to experts, people who have high blood pressure should limit their sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day.
32. Doctors recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week.
(Medical News Today)
A combination of physical activity, lower alcohol consumption, and a healthy diet will not only help you manage your high blood pressure but might also prevent the condition from ever developing.
Facts About Blood Pressure and Supplements
33. Dietary and herbal supplements provide many benefits to hypertensive patients with little to no side effects.
Nutritional supplements are proven as a safer alternative to traditional medicine because they have little to no adverse side-effects.
34. Folic acid lowers the risk of gestational hypertension during pregnancy.
(Women and Birth, NCBI)
What’s more, supplements with a minimum of 5000 micrograms of folic acid can help slightly reduce systolic blood pressure, as well as greatly benefit the blood vessels in the body.
35. According to high blood pressure statistics, the consumption of fish oil reduces systolic blood pressure by 6 mm Hg.
Furthermore, the use of fish oil among hypertensive men for four months reduced DBP by five mm Hg.
36. Increasing potassium intake reduces blood pressure.
Doubling potassium consumption is proven to reduce SBP by 4–8 mm Hg and DBP by 2.5–4 mm Hg among people with high blood pressure. Potassium intake lowers the risk of CVD, stroke, and diabetes and improves overall health, the interesting facts about hypertension reveal.
37. Magnesium can lower blood pressure levels.
Studies vary over the effectiveness of this supplement in the reduction of elevated BP; however, a 2012 survey indicated that magnesium supplementation reduced SBP by 3–4 mm Hg and DBP by 2–3 mm Hg. There has been some indication that Vitamin D is important in keeping high blood pressure in check. However, several studies have concluded that there isn’t consistent evidence to support this claim.
38. Stats on hypertension suggest that a diet rich in fiber can reduce SBP and DBP by 7.5 and 5.5 mm Hg, respectively.
(Pharmacy Times, JAMA)
On top of that, fiber supplementation can reduce blood pressure, especially among older patients (over 40) and people who are already suffering from raised blood pressure.
39. Melatonin supplements can reduce nocturnal hypertension.
The continuous use of melatonin is shown to lower nocturnal SBP by 6 and DBP by 4 mm Hg. In addition, melatonin supplements help improve sleep quality and quantity among patients who use beta-blockers for the treatment of essential hypertension.
What percentage of the population has high blood pressure?
Nearly a third of the population in the US is living with high blood pressure. Globally, some estimates show that 26% of the world’s population is affected by high BP, a number expected to increase to 29% by 2025.
What is the number 1 cause of high blood pressure?
It’s difficult to pinpoint one single cause for high blood pressure. Still, some of the most common reasons include obesity, sleep apnea, congenital conditions, kidney issues, as well as the use of certain medications, drugs, and alcohol.
In the majority of cases or 95%, the cause for increased BP levels can’t be found — a condition known as essential hypertension.
What country has the highest blood pressure?
Raised blood pressure levels have remained high in central and eastern Europe over almost four decades; however, a shift has been noted from high- to low- income countries. According to the WHO data, the highest percentage of men with hypertension is found in central and eastern Europe, while the highest concentration of hypertension cases among women is recorded in Africa.
Which race has the highest rate of high blood pressure?
Blacks are more at risk of hypertension than other races. Scientists are not exactly sure why this is the case, although some suspect that it’s mostly due to genetic and environmental factors. Salt consumption and obesity play an important role, both of which are classified as causes of high blood pressure and are higher among African-Americans in the US.
Being diagnosed with high blood pressure is not the end of the world. In fact, hypertension is an easily manageable condition. With the right treatment and carefully controlled diet and lifestyle, there’s no reason why high blood pressure should impact your quality of life.
Hopefully, these high blood pressure statistics will arm you with all the information you’ll ever need never to miss a beat when it comes to this condition.
- Being Patient
- Dove Press
- Mayo Clinic
- Medical News
- Medical News Today
- Medical News Today
- Pharmacy Times
- Science Daily
- The Economist
- Women and Birth