High Blood Pressure and Health
High blood pressure is a factor in several of the most common conditions people develop as they grow older. Studies on health and high blood pressure have shown that preventing hypertension can reduce the chances of developing life-threatening conditions, such as heart attacks, strokes, and chronic kidney failure.
To get started, let's consider these numbers:
- More than 65 million American adults -- 1 in 3 -- have high blood pressure
- Nearly 60 million Americans are over age 55, which means they have a 90 percent likelihood of developing high blood pressure in their lifetimes
- African Americans are more likely to develop high blood pressure than any other racial or ethnic group, and tend to develop it earlier and more severely than others
- 18 million Americans have diabetes, which increases their chances of developing high blood pressure
- 122 million American adults are overweight or obese, which is a risk factor for developing high blood pressure.
Hypertension is a health concern because it is a factor in a number of the most common conditions people develop as they get older. Preventing high blood pressure can reduce the chances of a person developing these life-threatening or life-altering conditions. Consider the following facts:
- High blood pressure is a factor in 67 percent of heart attacks in the United States
- High blood pressure is the second leading cause of chronic kidney failure in the United States -- responsible for 26 percent of all cases
- High blood pressure is a factor in 77 percent of strokes -- the third leading cause of death in the United States
- High blood pressure affects circulation -- creating a higher risk for mental deterioration and Alzheimer's disease
- High blood pressure precedes 74 percent of cases of heart failure in the United States
- High blood pressure causes more visits to doctors than any other condition -- just a 10 percent decline in the number of visits would save $478 million each year
- High blood pressure and its complications cost the U.S. economy more than $100 billion each year.