What is the prevalence of hypertension (high blood pressure) in adults in the US?

Updated: Feb 22, 2019
  • Author: Matthew R Alexander, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Answer

Hypertension is a worldwide epidemic; accordingly, its epidemiology has been well studied. Data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) spanning 2011-2014 in the United States found that in the population aged 20 years or older, an estimated 86 million adults had hypertension, with a prevalence of 34%. [4]

2017 Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) spanning 2015-2016 show a hypertension prevalence of 29.0% among those aged 18 and older. [36] The following image shows prevalence of hypertension among adults aged 18 and over, by sex and age: United States, 2015–2016.

Hypertension. Prevalence of hypertension among adu Hypertension. Prevalence of hypertension among adults aged 18 and over, by sex and age: United States, 2015–2016. Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

There was an increasing trend of hypertension in adults between 1999-2000 and 2009-2010, and 2013-2014, with mild falls in 2011-2012 and 2015-2016. [36] The image below shows the age-adjusted trends in hypertension and controlled hypertension among adults aged 18 and over: United States, 1999–2016.

Hypertension. Age-adjusted trends in hypertension Hypertension. Age-adjusted trends in hypertension and controlled hypertension among adults aged 18 and over: United States, 1999–2016. Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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