Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure is the elevated blood pressure in the arteries. While it increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, in the long run, it may also lead to cardiovascular damage and many other complications. Stroke and heart disease are the two leading causes of death in the US, and high blood pressure is the key reason causing them and increasing its risks.
Facts About Hypertension
Physicians consider the systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings while deciding if the patient has hypertension or not, and decide the treatment plans accordingly. Although different clinicians may have different diagnosis and parameters, it is more or less similar to the standard guidelines.
According to the American Heart Association, for normal blood pressure, the systolic pressure should be <120 mm Hg, and the Diastolic Blood Pressure should be <80 mm Hg.
Studies show that hypertension rates can vary by gender, race, geography, lifestyle habits, and many other criteria. Hypertension can be genetically predisposed or can be caused due to lifestyle habits. The most common causes include –
- Overweight or Obesity
- Sedentary lifestyle
- High salt intake
- High alcohol consumption
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Deficiency of calcium, magnesium, and potassium
- Chronic kidney disease
- Thyroid conditions
Secondary hypertension can also be caused due to tumors, kidney disease, and certain medications. While some cases could be managed by changing lifestyle habits, some may need more intricate treatment plans.
Mostly, hypertension is asymptomatic in the initial stages. The common symptoms include fatigue, headache, nausea, chest pains, irregular heartbeat, vision issues, and breathing trouble.
Estimated Hypertension Prevalence In US Adults
Hypertension is the primary cause of death to almost half a million people in the US, annually. Here are a few other key findings based on the long-term statistics from the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association’s (ACC/AHA) –
- Nearly 108 million, i.e., 1 out of 2 adults in the United States has hypertension
- Almost 21 million US adults with hypertension are recommended only lifestyle modifications
- 87 million US adults with hypertension receive prescription medication along with lifestyle modifications
- 17 million people taking the medication have a high blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg or higher.
- Sadly, 30 million US adults for whom medication is recommended are still untreated.
Estimated Financial Loss Due To High Blood Pressure
Apart from being one of the leading causes of death, hypertension also incurs financial loss by costing companies and the country a lot.
- Almost $47.5 billion annually is lost towards direct medical expenses for high blood pressure.
- $3.5 billion per year is attributed to lost employee productivity.
- An estimated $131 billion is spent due to hypertension health care services, medications, and absenteeism.
- Making lifestyle changes like even reducing salt intake to 2,300 mg per day can save $18 billion in health care costs. It also reduces high blood pressure rates by 11 million annually.
Studies show that the annual costs due to high blood pressure are estimated to double over or more in the next decade, with an anticipated annual total of $200.3 billion by 2030.
How Employee Wellness Programs Can Help?
The key objective of corporate wellness programs is to improve employee wellness and holistic health. This reflects in better employee productivity, engagement, workplace culture, and overall business growth. With hypertension being a common cause affecting employee wellness and company expenses towards healthcare costs, employers can include wellness challenge activities in their corporate wellness programs that regulate blood pressure. For instance, FreeWellnessPlatform.com offer employee wellness programs with healthy habit programs that promote holistic wellbeing of employees, and also targeted health solutions for disease management of hypertension, diabetes, and more.