How does the prevalence of hypertension (high blood pressure) vary among races?

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

Globally, black adults have among the highest rates of hypertension, with an increasing prevalence. Although white adults also have an increasing incidence of high BP, they develop this condition later in life than black adults and have much lower average BPs. In fact, compared to hypertensive white persons, hypertensive black individuals have a 1.3-fold higher rate of nonfatal stroke, a 1.8-fold higher rate of fatal stroke, a 1.5-fold higher mortality rate due to heart disease, and a 4.2-fold higher rate of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). [41]

Table 1, below, summarizes age-adjusted prevalence estimates from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) according to racial/ethnic groups and diagnosed conditions in individuals 18 years of age and older.

Table 1. NHIS/NCHS Age-Adjusted Prevalence Estimates in Individuals Aged 18 Years and Older in 2015. (Open Table in a new window)

Race/Ethnic Group

Have Hypertension, %

Have Heart Disease, %

Have Coronary Heart Disease, %

Have Had a Stroke, %

White only

23.8

11.3

5.6

2.4

Black/African American

34.4

9.5

5.4

3.7

Hispanic/Latino

23.0

8.2

5.1

2.4

Asian

20.6

7.1

3.7

1.4

American Indian/Alaska Native

28.4

13.7

9.3

2.2 (this number is considered unreliable)

Source:  Summary health statistics: National Health Interview Survey, 2015.  Available at: https://ftp.cdc.gov/pub/Health_Statistics/NCHS/NHIS/SHS/2015_SHS_Table_A-1.pdf. Accessed: November 14, 2016.

 

NCHS = National Center for Health Statistics; NHIS = National Health Interview Survey.


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