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Uncontrolled Hypertension Unchanged in US Adults

Megan Brooks
October 18, 2017

Only about 48% of adults with hypertension had it under control during 2015–2016, according to data released today by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"This finding that just under half of adults with hypertension have their BP under control is consistent with estimates since 2010," first author Cheryl Fryar, NCHS Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology. "However, this statistic shows that we have yet to meet the Healthy People 2020 goal of 61.2% for hypertension control."

The report also shows that hypertension is more prevalent in US non-Hispanic black adults than in other race/ethnic-origin groups.

Hypertension raises the risk of cardiovascular disease and "remains an important public-health challenge" in the US. Effective control of elevated blood pressure has been shown to reduce stroke, MI, and heart failure, Fryar and her colleagues note.

Based on National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, in 2015–2016, the overall prevalence of hypertension among adults was 29.0%. It was similar in men (30.2%) and women (27.7%) and increased with age, from 7.5% in adults 18 to 39, to 33.2% in adults 40 to 59 years, to 63.1% in those aged 60 and older.

The prevalence of hypertension was higher in men than women in those aged 18 to 39 (9.2% vs 5.6%) and those 40 to 59 (37.2% vs 29.4%), but in the 60+ age group, men had a lower prevalence of hypertension than women (58.5% vs 66.8%).

There were also differences in hypertension prevalence by race and Hispanic origin during 2015–2016. For all adults, the prevalence of hypertension among non-Hispanic black adults was higher (40.3%) than among non-Hispanic white (27.8%), non-Hispanic Asian (25.0%), and Hispanic (27.8%) adults.

Uncontrolled BP Common

Among adults with hypertension during 2015–2016, only 48.3% had controlled hypertension, the authors say.

The prevalence of controlled hypertension overall increased with age and was lower among those aged 18 to 39 years (32.5%) than among those aged 40 to 59 years (50.8%) and 60 and over (49.4%). A higher percentage of women had controlled hypertension than men, both overall (52.5% vs 45.7%) and among those aged 18 to 39 (62.6% vs 15.5%).

The prevalence of hypertension control among all adults with hypertension was higher among non-Hispanic whites (50.8%) than among non-Hispanic blacks (44.6%) and non-Hispanic Asians (37.4%).

Using NHANES data, the researchers also assessed trends in overall prevalence and control of hypertension between 1999 and 2016.

They found no significant change in the prevalence of hypertension among US adults during the 9-year study period. However, the prevalence of controlled hypertension among adults rose from 31.6% in 1999–2000 to 53.1% in 2009–2010, with no significant changes from 2009–2010 through the end of the study period.

There was a nonsignificant decrease in hypertension control between 2013–2014 and 2015–2016 (53.9% to 48.3%).

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SOURCE: Medscape, October 18, 2017.

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