One in four U.S. adults reported having high blood pressure in 2008

Research Activities, April 2011, No. 368

More than 59 million Americans aged 18 and older were diagnosed with high blood pressure in 2008, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The Agency also found that in 2008:

  • Three-quarters of people diagnosed with high blood pressure were overweight, obese, or morbidly obese. Roughly 15 percent of healthy-weight adults were diagnosed with high blood pressure.
  • Adults who exercised vigorously for 30 minutes or more at least three times a week were one-third less likely to report high blood pressure than those who didn't (21 percent vs. 32 percent).
  • Nearly 32 percent of black adults reported having high blood pressure, compared with 27 percent of white and 18 percent of Hispanic adults.
  • Roughly 29 percent of adults less than 65 years old with public health insurance reported having high blood pressure, versus 19 percent with private insurance and 14 percent of the uninsured.
  • Almost 59 percent of seniors aged 65 and older reported having been told they had high blood pressure, compared with nearly 34 percent of people aged 45 to 64, 10 percent of those aged 25 to 44, and almost 3 percent of younger adults.

The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the Household and Pharmacy Components of the 2008 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, the frequency with which they are used, the cost of those services, and how they are paid for. Go to Statistical Brief #315, Hypertension in America: Estimates for the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population Age 18 and Older, 2008.

For other information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Bob Isquith at Bob.Isquith@ahrq.hhs.gov or call (301) 427-1539.

Current as of April 2011
Internet Citation: One in four U.S. adults reported having high blood pressure in 2008: Research Activities, April 2011, No. 368. April 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/apr11/0411RA30.html