Worldwide, it is estimated that 1 billion people are hypertensive, accounting for an estimated 7.1 million deaths per year. It is becoming an increasingly common problem because of increased longevity and the prevalence of contributing factors such as obesity, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diet. The prevalence in many developing countries, particularly urban societies, is already as high as those seen in developed countries.
The prevalence of essential hypertension in the US is estimated to be about 70 million people, compared with 50 million people in 1990. Based on National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) data, prevalence is highest in black women, who also develop hypertension at a younger age than other groups. Prevalence is higher in white Americans than in Mexican Americans. The incidence increases with age in people of all ancestries and both sexes. Prevalence is higher in men than in women before 45 years of age, equal from the ages of 45 to 64, and higher in women than in men from 65 years of age. The lifetime risk is 90% for men and women who were normotensive at 55 years of age and survive to 80 years.
Based on the definition of hypertension by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association, the prevalence of hypertension in the US increases from 32% to 46%, with over 103 million people having the condition. Prevalence nearly triples among all men 20 to 44 years of age (increasing from 11% to 30%) and doubles among women younger than 45 years of age (from 10% to 19%). The prevalence of hypertension is higher in African-Americans than in white-, Asian-, and Hispanic-Americans. AHA Centers for Health Metrics and Evaluation: 2017 hypertension guidelines visualisation external link opens in a new window
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