More US adults aware they have hypertension. Do you?

Finally some good news in the recognition and treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension). The AP reports that, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “more American adults are aware they have high blood pressure, and more are taking medicine to try to control it.”

The report, which included 24,000 adults who underwent blood pressure checks during the period from 1999 to 2008, also revealed that “the proportion of US adults with high blood pressure has actually been holding steady at about 30% for a decade.”

HealthDay reported that “part of the reason that treatment and awareness of hypertension has increased while the prevalence of the condition remains stagnant is the ongoing obesity epidemic and the aging population, both of which tend to produce more hypertensives,” explained the report’s lead author, epidemiologist Sarah Yoon, PhD, of the CDC’s National Center of Health Statistics.

The report also revealed that the percentage of people who were aware of having hypertension “increased from 69.6 percent in 1999-2000 to 80.6 percent in 2007-2008.”

Along with the increase in patient awareness of hypertension, “the percentage of people with high blood pressure taking medications for the condition increased from 60.2% in 1999-2000 to 73.7% in 2007-2008,” WebMD reported.

Yet, although “medication is helping people control blood pressure, the prevalence of adults with the condition has held steady in the past 10 years for men and women, all adult age groups, non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, and Mexican-Americans.

What’s more, “the percentage of people with high blood pressure taking medication to lower it increased for those 18 to 39 and 60 and over, but not for people 40 to 59, the CDC report says.”

So, be sure to get your blood pressure checked at least once a year.

  • If it’s less than 120/80, you’re in great shape. Check it again next year.
  • If the upper number is 120-139 OR the lower number is 80-89, check it a couple of other times. If it stays in this range, you have “pre-hypertension” and need to see your doctor about this (although you likely will not need medicine).
  • If the upper number is 140 or higher OR the lower number is 90 or higher, it’s time to see your doctor about this (and, you may need medicine).

Enter your email to subscribe to Dr. Walt's blogs.

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Dr. Walt Larimore will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.