Citywide Hypertension Initiative

NEW DATA SHOWING AN INCREASE IN HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE RATES ACROSS NEW YORK CITY

Over 1 in 4 New Yorkers report having hypertension (high blood pressure)

December 19, 2016 – The Health Department today published two studies that point to an increase in hypertension rates across New York City. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a leading contributor to heart disease and stroke, two diseases which together account for 1 in 5 premature deaths (under age 65) in New York City. In the past decade, the prevalence of hypertension has increased by 11 percent. Today, over 1 in 4 adults in New York City (estimated 1.8 million people) report having hypertension.

Among the reports’ highlights: 

  • Hypertension was more commonly reported among adults who are Black or Latino compared with those who are White (35 percent and 33 percent vs. 24 percent) and those living in very high-poverty neighborhoods compared to those living in low-poverty neighborhoods (32 percent vs. 24 percent).
  • While hypertension is typically more common among older adults, over one in ten adults younger than 45 years of age reported having hypertension in 2015.  The report also describes how many New Yorkers are not meeting healthy lifestyle recommendations that are important in preventing hypertension and its complications. For example, in 2010, two-thirds of all adults reported consuming more sodium than the recommended daily limit (<2300 mg per day).
  • There were nearly 100,000 hospitalizations for hypertension, heart disease or stroke in 2014. More than half (57 percent) of the hypertension hospitalizations, which are typically preventable with access to regular, high quality primary care, occurred in adults less than 65 years of age, with very high-poverty neighborhoods having 3.5 times the rate among adults living in low-poverty neighborhoods.

We can prevent and control hypertension by taking steps to live a heart-healthy lifestyle, such as eating a healthy diet low in salt, getting active, maintaining a healthy weight, and if prescribed, taking medicines as directed. People can also check blood pressure regularly at home or at a local pharmacy.

For more information, Bronxites should call 311 to order free copies of the city’s High Blood Pressure Health Bulletin.

The average New York City adult consumes nearly 40 percent more sodium than the daily recommended limit. High sodium intake can increase blood pressure and the risk of heart disease and stroke. Over 75 percent of the sodium consumed by Americans comes from packaged and restaurant foods, and even similar foods can contain highly variable amounts of sodium, making it difficult for individuals to lower their sodium intake.

The Health Department this month launched the “Look Before You Eat” campaign, which reminds New Yorkers to look for the sodium warning icons on menus when dining in chain restaurants throughout New York City. The salt shaker icon – part of the City’s new mandated sodium warning rule for chain restaurants – must be posted next to menu items with 2,300 mg of sodium or more, the total daily recommended limit.

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