Hypertension Statistics: How Common is High Blood Pressure?

Hypertension Statistics

Blood pressure undergoes natural fluctuations during the day, rising and falling as a part of the body’s normal functioning. However, when elevated over extended periods, it poses a significant risk to cardiovascular health, potentially leading to various health complications. Referred to as hypertension or high blood pressure, this condition involves sustained blood pressure levels beyond the normal range.

In this report, we will dive into comprehensive hypertension statistics to provide a nuanced understanding of its prevalence, risk factors, and need for awareness.

Key Hypertension Statistics

  1. Hypertension significantly elevates the risk of heart disease and stroke, both prominent causes of mortality in the United States. 
  2. Nearly 50% of adults in the U.S., totaling 119.9 million individuals, are affected by hypertension. 
  3. In 2021, hypertension was identified as a primary or contributing factor in 691,095 deaths in the country. 
  4. Unfortunately, only 22.5% of adults with hypertension, equivalent to 27.0 million individuals, effectively manage their condition.
  5. The criteria for hypertension are defined as having a systolic blood pressure exceeding 130 mmHg, a diastolic blood pressure surpassing 80 mmHg, or taking medication specifically for hypertension.
  6. The economic impact of high blood pressure on the United States is substantial, costing approximately $131 billion annually between 2003 and 2014.
  7. Approximately 45% of adults with uncontrolled hypertension exhibit a blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher, affecting 37 million individuals. 
  8. Out of the 34 million adults recommended to take medication, there is a need for prescriptions and initiation, with 19 million presenting a blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher. 
  9. Notably, a significant proportion of adults with hypertension (94.9 million or 4 in 5) receive advice from clinicians to take prescription medication.
  10. 34.8 million adults for whom hypertension medication is recommended remain untreated, with 23.4 million having a blood pressure of ≥140/90 mm Hg. 
  11. 33.2 million adults who are already undergoing treatment with antihypertensive medication may require dosage adjustments or additional prescriptions to achieve blood pressure control, and more than half of this group has a blood pressure reading of ≥140/90 mm Hg.
Hypertension Statistis

Disparities in High Blood Pressure Control Across Race and Sex 

  1. Non-Hispanic black adults top the list, with 56% grappling with high blood pressure, surpassing their counterparts in 48% of non-Hispanic white adults, 46% non-Hispanic Asian adults, and 39% Hispanic adults. 
  2. 32% of non-hispanic white adults demonstrate a higher rate of blood pressure control compared to 25% non-Hispanic black, 19% non-Hispanic Asian, and 25% Hispanic counterparts.
  3. Unpacking the prevalence of high blood pressure reveals that men face a higher likelihood, with 50% experiencing elevated blood pressure compared to 44% of women. 
Hypertensions Treatment Statistics

Prevalence of Hypertension Across Education Levels

The findings underscore a compelling association between education and hypertension rates, shedding light on these crucial insights:

  1. College graduates exhibited a notably lower prevalence of hypertension at 38.5%, in contrast to adults with a high school education or less (47.0%) and those with more than high school or some college education (50.5%).
  2. Among men, the prevalence of hypertension peaked at 57.6% for adults with more than high school or some college education, surpassing those with a high school education or less (50.0%) and college graduates (46.7%).
  3. Women college graduates revealed a much lower occurrence of hypertension at 31.3%, compared to those with a high school education or less (42.9%) and those with more than high school or some college education (43.9%).
  4. Irrespective of education level, men consistently exhibited a significantly higher prevalence of hypertension compared to women.

Financial Costs of Hypertension

  1. Direct Medical Expenses: High blood pressure imposes a significant financial burden on the nation, accounting for $47.5 billion annually in direct medical expenses.
  2. Lost Productivity: Beyond direct medical costs, an additional $3.5 billion is lost annually due to decreased productivity attributed to hypertension.
  3. Comprehensive Cost Estimate: The overall financial impact of high blood pressure on the nation is staggering, totaling an estimated $131 billion. This comprehensive figure encompasses health care services, medication expenses, and the economic consequences of missed workdays.
  4. Future Projections: Anticipating a concerning trend, annual costs directly associated with high blood pressure are expected to more than double over the next two decades. Based on 2010 figures, a substantial increase of $130.4 billion is projected by 2030, bringing the total annual cost to an alarming $200.3 billion.
Hypertension Public Health

The Impact of Hypertension on Public Health

  1. Less than 50% of individuals diagnosed with high blood pressure effectively manage their condition.
  2. High blood pressure is a significant contributor to daily mortality, causing nearly 1,000 deaths per day.
  3. Approximately 20% of adults in the United States who suffer from high blood pressure are unaware of their condition.
  4. Nearly 30% of American adults experience prehypertension, elevating the risk of progressing to full-blown high blood pressure.
  5. 69% of individuals experiencing their first heart attack have high blood pressure.
  6. 77% of those undergoing their initial stroke have high blood pressure.
  7. 74% of individuals with chronic heart failure have a history of high blood pressure.
Worldwide Hypertension Statistics

Worldwide Trends in Hypertension (1990-2019): A Comprehensive Overview

Global Burden and Growth

  1. The prevalence of hypertension among adults aged 30–79 years doubled from 1990 to 2019.
  2. In 1990, there were 331 million women and 317 million men with hypertension; by 2019, these numbers rose to 626 million women and 652 million men.
  3. Despite stable global age-standardized prevalence, the absolute numbers significantly increased.
Worldwide Hypertension by Counry

Regional Variations

  1. In 2019, age-standardized hypertension prevalence was lowest in Canada and Peru for both genders.
  2. For women, lower rates were also observed in Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and selected western European countries (Switzerland, Spain, and the UK).
  3. For men, lower rates were noted in various low-income and middle-income countries, including Eritrea, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and the Solomon Islands.

High Prevalence Regions

  1. Hypertension prevalence exceeded 50% in certain regions for both genders, notably in central and central Asia, Oceania, eastern Europe, and Latin America.

Control Rates

  1. Control rates among individuals with hypertension in 2019 were 23% for women and 18% for men globally.

Awareness and Diagnosis

  1. Globally, in 2019, 49% of men and 59% of women with hypertension had a previous diagnosis.
  2. Treatment rates were 47% for women and 38% for men.

Regional Disparities in Treatment and Control

  1. In 2019, countries with the highest treatment and control rates included Canada, South Korea, and Iceland (treatment >70%, control >50%).
  2. Other notable countries with high rates were the USA, Germany, Portugal, Taiwan, and Costa Rica.
  3. Conversely, treatment rates were less than 25% for women and less than 20% for men in Indonesia, Nepal, and certain Oceania and Sub-Saharan Africa nations.
  4. Control rates were below 10% in these countries and for men in some regions of central and south Asia, eastern Europe and North Africa.

Improvements Over Time

  1. Treatment and control rates have shown improvement globally since 1990.
  2. The most significant improvements occurred in high-income countries and some upper-middle-income nations, including Taiwan, Kazakhstan, Costa Rica, South Africa, Chile, Turkey, Brazil, and Iran.

Physician Office Visits for Hypertension

  1. Total Visits: Approximately 56.8 million visits were made to physician offices, with essential hypertension identified as the primary diagnosis.
  2. Prevalence: Essential hypertension was noted on medical records in about 33.2% of all visits to physician offices.
  3. Emergency Department Visits: Notably, essential hypertension was identified as the primary diagnosis in 1.3 million visits to emergency departments.


What proportion of the global population is affected by hypertension?

Hypertension impacts over 30% of the adult population worldwide, encompassing more than one billion individuals globally.

What are the statistics concerning hypertension treatment?

The treatment rate stands at 47% (43–51) for women and 38% (35–41) for men. Less than half of those undergoing treatment successfully achieve hypertension control. This results in global control rates of 23% (20–27) for women and 18% (16–21) for men with hypertension.

How many people have undiagnosed hypertension?

Alarmingly, 46% of individuals with hypertension remain undiagnosed. Within a sample of adults aged 15–54, 66.8% similarly go undiagnosed.

What percentage of deaths is caused by hypertension?

Worldwide, elevated blood pressure is estimated to be responsible for 7.5 million deaths, comprising about 12.8% of the total number of deaths globally.


Related Articles


Related Articles