Key Facts About High Blood Pressure
- High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke in the United States.
- 67 million American adults have high blood pressure—that's 1 in 3 U.S. adults.
- High blood pressure caused or contributed to the deaths of more than 348,000 Americans in 2009—that's nearly 1,000 deaths per day.
- Only about half of people with high blood pressure have their condition under control.
- High blood pressure costs the nation an estimated $51 billion each year.
- When your blood pressure is high:
- You are 4 times more likely to die from a stroke.
- You are 3 times more likely to die from heart disease.
Get more blood pressure facts and statistics from CDC's High Blood Pressure website.
Make Blood Pressure Control Your Goal
If you have high blood pressure, take steps to lower it and make control your goal.
- Check your blood pressure regularly—at home, at a doctor's office, or at a pharmacy.
- Eat a healthy diet with more fresh fruits, vegetables, potassium, and whole grains and less sodium, cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans fat.
- In particular, eating foods high in sodium can raise your blood pressure and your risk for hypertension. Learn more about sodium in your diet from CDC's Salt website.
- Get active to help maintain a healthy weight. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week.
- Limit alcohol to no more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men.
- Quit smoking—or don't start. Get help from 1-800-QUIT-NOW or Smokefree.gov.
Blood Pressure Control Resources
Million Hearts® offers many resources to help individuals, health care professionals, and interested organizations make blood pressure control the goal, every day.
- The Blood Pressure Calculator and related information on our Facebook page can help you make sense of your blood pressure numbers. Track your progress with the My Blood Pressure Wallet Card [PDF-913K], and share results regularly with your health care team.
- Celebrate your blood pressure control success and encourage your family and friends to make control their goal with Million Hearts® virtual gifts.
- The "Medicines to Help You" series from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration includes a guide to medications for high blood pressure [PDF-538K] that lists every medicine approved to treat hypertension along with side effects, warnings, and other information.
FDA explains high blood medications and their role in reducing blood pressure. Please click here [PDF-5.7M] to view the infographic.
- The "Find a Health Center App", from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, connects you to local health centers for blood pressure screenings and basic heart health prevention and care information.
- Learn about the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan.
For Health Care Professionals and Pharmacists
- Evidence-based treatment protocols for hypertension can have a powerful impact in improving patients' blood pressure control. Practices and health care systems can choose from sample protocols or develop their own custom protocol.
- Hypertension Control: Action Steps for Clinicians [PDF-313K]
This guide provides strategies for busy clinicians to aid in efforts related to hypertension control. These strategies are drawn from published scientific literature (evidence-based) or found to be effective in clinical settings (practice-based).
- To learn more about clinical approaches to better identify, treat, and control high blood pressure, view CDC's Public Health Grand Rounds session on "Hypertension: Detect, Connect, Control".
- 2012 Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Champions—In 2012, Million Hearts® recognized two health care practices—Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Denver, and the Ellsworth Medical Clinic in Wisconsin—for success in helping patients control their high blood pressure.
- The Community Preventive Services Task Force just announced a recommendation to reduce patient out-of-pocket costs for medications to control high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
- The Million Hearts® Blood Pressure Toolkit, including a customizable poster [PDF-1.9M] and postcard [PDF-703K], can help individuals, clinics, and communities work together to address high blood pressure.
- Team Up. Pressure Down. is a Million Hearts® program to prevent and control high blood pressure by encouraging patients and pharmacists to work together for better blood pressure.
- Need guidance for monitoring patients' blood pressure in between office visits? The Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring Action Guide [PDF-1M] can help.
- The American Medical Association has launched Improving Health Outcomes to improve care by developing and spreading a model for better detection and management of high blood pressure in clinics and communities.
For Partners and Supporters
- For Spanish speakers, How to Control Your Hypertension by Learning to Control Your Sodium Intake: a Fotonovela [PDF-3M] is a great resource for educating Hispanic audiences about sodium and its connection to high blood pressure. It comes with a companion Promotora Guide [PDF-1M] for community health workers and other lay health educators.
Note: PDF documents available from this page require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader®.
Blood Pressure Control Infographic
Blood Pressure Control Badges
Share one of these badges with your friends, family, and colleagues to encourage them to make blood pressure control their goal.