Death Rate Falls Among People With High Blood Pressure

Death rates are falling among people with high blood pressure – but are still much higher than those without, according to researchers.

Results from two national health surveys show that death rates have fallen from 18.8 deaths for every 1000 people to 14.3 among those suffering from hypertension.  This is still 57 percent higher than those who do not have high blood pressure, who boast a considerably lower 9.1 mortality rate.

Men who have high blood pressure were more likely to die than women (7.7 death rate compared to 1.9), though their death rate fell more sharply over the time periods studied.  Women, however, were more likely to suffer from additional complications related to high blood pressure.

“Compared with hypertensive men, women gained more weight, were more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes and were less likely to quit smoking,” said Earl Ford, M.D., M.P.H., study author and medical officer with the U.S. Public Health Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a press release.

Ford recommends that hypertension patients focus on lowering their blood pressure, as well as stop smoking, control their weight as best they can, have their lipid levels measured (and if needed, be treated), and get tested for diabetes.

The study was published in the journal Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.