Uncontrolled high blood pressure: Study breaks down risk by gender and age

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Controlling blood pressure is a major challenge for close to half of all adults in the United States.

Researchers say that older women and younger men are more likely to have uncontrolled hypertension, even with blood pressure-lowering medications.

Health experts say that lifestyle choices and a low tolerance for certain medications can make it hard to manage hypertension.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, elevates people’s risk of several illnesses, including cardiovascular and kidney disease, stroke, and complications from COVID-19.

More than 92 million adults in the U.S. do not have their blood pressure under control.
Until now, studies have barely explored how uncontrolled hypertension affects men and women at different ages.

Aayush Visaria, M.D., M.P.H., who is a postdoctoral research fellow at Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research in New Brunswick, NJ, led a study examining this issue.

Dr. Visaria presented the study’s results at the Hypertension Scientific Sessions 2021, which the American Heart Association (AHA) ran.

Dr. Visaria and his cohorts examined data from the 1999–2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination SurveysTrusted Source.

These included more than 13,200 adults aged 20 years and older, all of whom had received a diagnosis of hypertension and were on blood pressure-lowering medication.

The average age in the cohort was 57 years. Women made up 52% of the participants, 71% of whom were white.

The researchers separated the participants into 10-year age groups and compared the rates of uncontrolled hypertension between men and women.

They looked at rates of hypertension control using older and newer definitions of high blood pressure. The 2014Trusted Source Joint National Commission (JNC) guidelines define high blood pressure as 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher, whereas the 2017 AHA/American College of Cardiology (ACC) guidelines define it as 130/80 mm Hg or higher.

The researchers adjusted their data for comorbidities and metabolic, social, behavioral, and demographic factors.

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