February is American Heart Month!

Submitted by Maggie Sims on Tue, 02/01/2022
Summary
Stroke is a leading cause of death and a major cause of serious disability for adults.

A foremost risk factor for heart disease and stroke is the silent presence of hypertension (high blood pressure). Blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Arteries carry blood from your heart to other parts of your body. Blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day, but it can damage your heart and cause health problems if it stays high for a long time. Hypertension, also called high blood pressure, is blood pressure that is higher than normal.

Nearly half of U.S. adults have hypertension, and only about 1 in 4 of those individuals has their hypertension under control. Hypertension is a major preventable risk factor for heart disease and stroke, which are the first and fifth leading causes of death in the United States, respectively.

 

face, arm, speech, and time spelling out FACT

 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides these startling facts:    

  • Having hypertension puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death in the United States.
  • In 2019, more than half a million deaths in the United States had hypertension as a primary or contributing cause.
  • Nearly half of adults in the United States (47%, or 116 million) have hypertension, defined as a systolic blood pressure greater than 130 mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure greater than 80 mmHg or are taking medication for hypertension.
  • Only about 1 in 4 adults (24%) with hypertension have their condition under control.
  • About half of adults (45%) with uncontrolled hypertension have a blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher. This includes 37 million U.S. adults. 
  • About 34 million adults who are recommended to take medication may need it to be prescribed and to start taking it. Almost two out of three of this group (19 million) have a blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher.
  • High blood pressure was a primary or contributing cause of death for 516,955 people in the United States in 2019.
  • High blood pressure costs the United States about $131 billion each year, averaged over 12 years from 2003 to 2014.
  • A greater percentage of men (50%) have high blood pressure than women (44%).
  • High blood pressure is more common in non-Hispanic black adults (56%) than in non-Hispanic white adults (48%), non-Hispanic Asian adults (46%), or Hispanic adults (39%).
  • Among those recommended to take blood pressure medication, blood pressure control is higher among non-Hispanic white adults (32%) than in non-Hispanic black adults (25%), non-Hispanic Asian adults (19%), or Hispanic adults (25%).

 

quote on blue background

 

Know Your Risk for High Blood Pressure

The Surgeon General’s Call to Action


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