In U.S. Adults, Prevalence of Self-Reported Hypertension Increasing

Prevalence of Self-Reported Hypertension Rises in U.S.
Prevalence of Self-Reported Hypertension Rises in U.S.

To assess state-level trends in self-reported hypertension and treatment, the CDC analyzed 2005–2009 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a state-based telephone survey of health behaviors among adults aged >18 years. Results showed wide variation among the prevalence of self-reported diagnosed hypertension and use of antihypertensive medications.

From 2005–2009, almost all states had an increased prevalence of self-reported hypertension, with percentage-point increases ranging from 0.2 for Virginia (from 26.9% to 27.1%) to 7.0 for Kentucky (from 27.5% to 34.5%). Overall, the prevalence of age-adjusted self-reported hypertension among U.S. adults increased from 25.8% to 28.3%.

RELATED: FDA's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Among those with self-reported hypertension, the estimated number using antihypertensive medications was 45,023,301 in 2005 and 53,602,447 in 2009 – a proportional increase from 61.1% (2005) to 62.6% (2009). The proportion reporting use of antihypertensive agents was highest in Tennessee (74.1%) and lowest in California (52.3%).

The findings in this report indicate that a small but significant increase in the prevalence of self-reported hypertension was observed among adults from 2005–2009; the proportion who reported use of antihypertensive medication also increased significantly. Increased knowledge of the differences in self-reported prevalence of hypertension and use of antihypertensive medications by state can help in guiding programs to prevent heart disease, stroke, and other complications of uncontrolled hypertension, including those conducted by state and local public health agencies and healthcare providers.

To view a state-by-state comparison visit