High Blood Pressure Facts
• Having high blood pressure puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.
• High blood pressure was a primary or contributing cause of death for 326,000 Americans in 2006.
• High blood pressure usually has no warning signs or symptoms, so many people don't realize they have it.
• About one out of three U.S. adults—31.3%—has high blood pressure.
• About one in four American adults has prehypertension—blood pressure measurements that are higher than normal, but not yet in the high blood pressure range.
•Having prehypertension raises your risk for high blood pressure.
In 2010, high blood pressure will cost the United States $76.6 billion in health care services, medications, and missed days of work.
Blood pressure is written as two numbers. The first (systolic) number represents the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats. The second (diastolic) number represents the pressure in your vessels when your heart rests between beats.
Blood Pressure Levels
Normal : systolic: less than 120 mmHg diastolic: less than 80mmHg
At risk (prehypertension): systolic: 120–139 mmHg diastolic: 80–89 mmHg
High : systolic: 140 mmHg or higher diastolic: 90 mmHg or higher
CDC's Public Health Efforts
Since 1998, CDC has funded state health departments' efforts to reduce the number of people with heart disease or stroke. Health departments in 41 states and the District of Columbia currently receive funding. The program stresses policy and education to promote heart-healthy and stroke-free living and working conditions. For more information on CDC's National Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program, visit http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/state_program/index.htm.
For More Information
For more information about high blood pressure, visit the following Web sites:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
American Heart Association
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Heron MP, Hoyert DL, Murphy SL, Xu JQ, Kochanek KD, Tejada-Vera B: Final data for 2006. National vital statistics reports; vol 57 no 14. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics. 2009.
Lloyd-Jones D, Adams R, Carnethon M, et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2009 Update. A Report from the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Circulation. 2009;119:e21-e181.
National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2008 [PDF 8.4M]. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2008.
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