Nearly 1 of 3 adults in the United States has high blood pressure, which increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a common and manageable chronic condition.

High blood presasure costs the United States $46 billion in health care services, medications, and missed days of work, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

How does high blood pressure affect our community?
Nearly one of three adults in Cuyahoga County has high blood pressure , defined as 140/90 or higher.

Who is at risk for high blood pressure?
Women are about as likely as men to develop high blood pressure during their lifetimes. But it affects more men than women who are under 45 years old, and more women than men who are 65 or older.

High blood pressure also is more common in some racial and ethnic groups. More African-Americans get high blood pressure and at an earlier age than whites and Hispanics. Among African-Americans, more women than men have it, CDC numbers show.

Why it is important?
High blood pressure makes your heart work too hard. It can cause a heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. Having a normal blood pressure can reduce your chances of having these problems. The blood pressure goal for most people is 140/90.

What your doctor should do:
Your doctor should check your blood pressure at every office visit, and maybe more often.

Once a year, your doctor should do a blood test to check your kidney function. Checking "serum creatinine" with a simple blood test will alert you and your doctor to any damage to your kidneys.

Your doctor should do a blood test to check your cholesterol levels. LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, can build up and block the flow of blood through your body. This can cause a heart attack or stroke. The bad cholesterol goal for most people is less than 100. Your doctor should talk to you about the results of your cholesterol test.

How many people got the care they needed in Northeast Ohio?
In 2014, of nearly 140,000 adults with high blood pressure:
  • 100% had their blood pressure checked at doctor's visits

  • About 93% had their LDL "bad" cholesterol checked recently

  • About 90% had a blood test to check their blood creatinine level

  • Overall, 75% of people with hypertension had their blood pressure under control -- 140/90 or lower
What can you do?
Eat a healthy diet, with lots of fruit and vegetables. Limit the amount of salt you add to your food, and the amount of salt (sodium) that you consume in packaged and canned foods. Get plenty of exercise and keep your weight down.