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About Heart Disease & Stroke

Blood Pressure Control

To reach the goal of preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017, Million Hearts® focuses much-needed attention on the ABCS and what individuals and organizations can do to improve the heart health of the nation. In particular, Million Hearts® strives to make meaningful progress toward prevention and control of a major contributor to heart disease and stroke: high blood pressure.

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.

Download the Million Hearts® infographic on blood pressure control or share the Blood Pressure Control badge on your Facebook or Twitter profile, website, or blog.


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.

For Individuals

  • 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


For Partners and Supporters



Note: PDF documents available from this page require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader®.

Blood Pressure Control Infographic

Learn about high blood pressure and what you can do to make control your goal—then share with your family, friends, and others.

Blood Pressure 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.

Blood Pressure Control Badge
Blood Pressure Control Cape