CHICAGO, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- University of Illinois at Chicago researchers found almost 60 percent of U.S. adults may have hypertension, or are on the verge of suffering the condition.
The findings, published in the Oct. 25 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, comes from nationally representative health data analyzed by Youfa Wang, an assistant professor of human nutrition and Qiong Joanna Wang, a biostatistician at the School of Public Health.
They found that 58.2 percent had blood pressure readings that placed them into the categories of either hypertension or prehypertension, according to the new, lower-threshold designation set last year in the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure, known as JNC7.
Prehypertension is indicated by systolic/diastolic readings of between 120/80 and 139/89 -- if either the systolic or diastolic blood pressure falls within the range, it indicates prehypertension. Hypertension remains defined as 140/90 or above in the new classification.
"The prevalence of either prehypertension or hypertension among both men and women who were not overweight was 47 percent," lead author Youfa Wang. "But among those overweight, it increases to almost 60 percent, and among those who were obese, their prevalence was 76 percent."