Uncontrolled high blood pressure: On the rise

High blood pressure is the leading risk factor for life-threatening conditions


It’s a condition that affects more than 100 million Americans, and it’s a significant risk factor for potentially life-threatening conditions.

The greatest risk factor for heart attacks and stroke: High blood pressure.

High blood pressure
is the most significant
risk factor for heart
attacks and strokes

In fact, high blood pressure is the most significant risk factor for those potentially fatal attacks. Additionally, it’s also related to an increased risk for coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, cardiac arrest, diabetes, obesity and other conditions limiting one’s quality of life.

Unfortunately, a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that uncontrolled high blood pressure is on the rise in the United States.

Hypertension, dubbed “the silent killer,” is considered “controlled” when it’s within 140/90.

The study concludes that among high blood pressure sufferers, those living with uncontrolled high blood pressure increased 10 percent in 2017-2018 when compared to 2013-2014. (Uncontrolled high blood pressure was also discovered to be a risk factor for the more severe symptoms of COVID-19.)

A similar study revealed in 1999-2000 that 31.8 percent of hypertension patients had their high blood pressure under control. Fortunately, that percentage increased to 48.5 in 2007-2008 and 53.8 percent in 2013-2014.

That number has now declined, with the percentage of hypertension patients with controlled blood pressure at 43.7.

When the data was re-analyzed using the updated blood pressure guidelines of 130/80, just 19 percent of hypertension patients had their blood pressure under control.


The causes of high blood pressure come from multiple risk factors:
  • Family history
  • Stress
  • Overweight
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Tobacco use
  • Diet (Too much sodium, too little potassium)
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Age
  • Ethnicity

Hypertension is a condition that can be managed with medication.

The main reason, though, for uncontrolled hypertension? Avoiding regular visits with your primary care physician.

The JAMA study noted that hypertension patients who had not seen their doctor in the past year were five times more likely to have uncontrolled high blood pressure than those who had.