Percentage of Americans with high blood pressure and high cholesterol has declined since 1999

The percentage of American adults with high blood pressure or high cholesterol has decreased between the years 1999 – 2010, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

For the report, researchers examined data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).  Key findings include:

  • In 2009–2010, about 47% of adults had at least one of three risk factors for cardiovascular disease—uncontrolled high blood pressure, uncontrolled high levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol, or current smoking.
  • Men were more likely than women to have at least one of the three cardiovascular disease risk factors.
  • From 1999–2000 through 2009–2010, a decrease was observed in the percentage of non-Hispanic white and Mexican-American adults who had at least one of the three risk factors for cardiovascular disease. However, this decrease was not found among non-Hispanic black adults.
  • The prevalence of uncontrolled high blood pressure and of uncontrolled high LDL cholesterol declined between 1999–2000 and 2009–2010, but no significant change occurred in the percentage of adults who smoke cigarettes. 

(Sources: AHA News Now, http://www.ahanews.com/, August 6, 2012; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/, August 2012)