CDC Grand Rounds: A Public Health Approach to Detect and Control Hypertension

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016 Nov 18;65(45):1261-1264. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6545a3.


Hypertension is generally defined as systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg, or diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg. A person who currently uses blood pressure-lowering medication is also defined as having hypertension. Hypertension is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke (1,2). Hypertension affects nearly one third of U.S. residents aged ≥18 years (approximately 75 million persons), and in approximately one half of adults with hypertension (nearly 35 million persons), it is uncontrolled (2). Among these 35 million U.S. residents with uncontrolled hypertension, 33% (11.5 million persons) are not aware of their hypertension, 20% (7 million persons) are aware of their hypertension, but are not being treated for it, and approximately 47% (16.1 million persons) are aware of their hypertension and being treated for it, but treatment (by medication and/or lifestyle modification) is not adequately controlling their blood pressure (Figure) (2).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis*
  • Hypertension / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Public Health Practice*
  • United States