Hypertension in the United States

One in three adults has high blood pressure, a leading cause of stroke. Approximately 30 percent of hypertension cases may be attributable to obesity, and the figure may be as high as 60 percent in men under age 45. People who are overweight are more likely to have high blood pressure, high levels of blood fats and high LDL (bad cholesterol), which are all risk factors for heart disease and stroke. The 10 states with the highest rates of hypertension are in the South. West Virginia has the highest rate at 42.7 percent.

Hypertension Rate by State,

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Percent of adults with hypertension

Hypertension among adults,


1 American Heart Association. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics — 2006 Update. Dallas: American Heart Association, 2006.

2 Obesity Statistics — U.S. Trends. In The Obesity Society. (accessed April 2008).

3 What Are the Health Risks of Overweight and Obesity? In National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (accessed May 2010).