A new national online survey by Harris Interactive of 1245 hypertensive individuals indicates that >90% were aware that elevated blood pressure (BP) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The majority discovered that they had elevated BP levels as a result of a routine examination. More than two thirds of persons identified 120/80 mm Hg as an optimal BP level; only 6.0% stated that the Internet was their primary source of information about high BP. More than 60% of respondents had a body mass index >30 kg/m(2), and >50% had other cardiovascular risk factors. More than 50% were involved in some lifestyle change to control BP, and >90% were taking medication. More than 60% reported that BP was controlled (<140/90 mm Hg) at the last visit, although approximately 50% were told that their BP was high at some time. The survey results suggest that >90% of hypertensive patients are aware of the risks of elevated BP and that a high percentage of hypertensive patients are being treated with medication. Control rates as reported by respondents were >60% based on last BP recorded; however, between 31% and 40% of patients (based on differences in ethnic groups) were continued on the same therapy despite elevated BP levels. The survey suggests a high degree of risk awareness and treatment, and what appears to be an increase in control rates among hypertensive patients.