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High Blood Pressure



Why do we measure high blood pressure?

Nearly half of adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure, and the condition is controlled in only about 1 in 4 U.S. adults .(1) High blood pressure is associated with cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks and strokes.(2) Family history, high stress level, smoking, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diet put people at risk for developing high blood pressure.(3) High blood pressure can be treated with medication or with health behavior changes, such as reducing sodium intake, increasing daily physical activity, and quitting smoking. (1)

How do we measure high blood pressure?

This metric includes adults 18 years and older, who report being told they have high blood pressure. This metric excludes women who only have high blood pressure during pregnancy and individuals who have been told they have borderline high blood pressure.

Strengths of Metric

Limitations of Metric 

Using self-reported data is the most inexpensive and reliable way to measure blood pressure for a sample of a large population.

One in five people do not know they have high blood pressure, which means the metric may underestimate the real number of people with this condition.(1)

The metric is self-reported and depends on the accurate reporting of the person surveyed.


High blood pressure is calculated by the following formula:

high blood pressure

This metric was calculated by aggregating estimates from smaller geographies to the congressional district level. For more information, please refer to the Congressional District Health Dashboard Technical Document.

Data Source

Estimates for this metric are from one year modeled PLACES Project Data (formerly 500 Cities Project)from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Years of Collection

Calculated by the Dashboard Team using data from 2021, 1 year modeled estimate.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. High Blood Pressure: Facts About Hypertension.  https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm. Accessed November 15, 2022.

  2. American Heart Association. The Facts About High Blood Pressure.  https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/the-facts-about-high-blood-pressure. Accessed November 15, 2022.

  3. American Heart Association. Know Your Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/why-high-blood-pressure-is-a-silent-killer/know-your-risk-factors-for-high-blood-pressure. Accessed November 15, 2022.

Last updated: February 20, 2024