U.S.: 1-in-4 have high blood pressure

March 5, 2011 at 12:05 AM

WASHINGTON, March 5 (UPI) -- One in four U.S. adults -- 59 million Americans -- had high blood pressure in 2008, federal health officials say.

The report, News and Numbers by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, says 75 percent of people diagnosed with high blood pressure were overweight, obese or morbidly obese, but 15 percent of healthy weight adults were diagnosed with high blood pressure.

However, 21 percent of adults who exercised vigorously for 30 minutes or more at least three times a week were one-third less likely than those who didn't to have reported having high blood pressure.

Nearly 32 percent of black adults reported having high blood pressure, compared to 27 percent of white and 18 percent of Hispanic adults.

About 29 percent of U.S. adults age 65 and under with public health insurance reported having high blood pressure, vs. 19 percent with private insurance and 14 percent of the uninsured, officials say.

Almost 59 percent of seniors age 65 and older report having been told they had high blood pressure, compared to nearly 34 percent ages 45-64, 10 percent of those ages 25-44 and almost 3 percent of younger adults.

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