STATUS > HEALTH INDICATORS
HYPERTENSION AND STROKE
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a risk
factor for heart disease and stroke. It is defined as a systolic
pressure (during heartbeats) of 140 or higher, a diastolic pressure
(between heartbeats) of 90 or higher, or both. In 2003, women had
higher overall rates of hypertension than men (260.9 per 1,000 women
compared to 243.0 per 1,000 men). Rates of hypertension were similar
among both sexes under the age of 65; however, among older persons
the rate of hypertension was higher among women than men.
The rates of hypertension among women differ by race and ethnicity.
In 2003, non-Hispanic Black women had the highest rate of hypertension
(360.0 per 1,000), followed by non-Hispanic White women (261.1 per
1,000); Asian women had the lowest (150.4 per 1,000).In 2002, the
latest year for which mortality data are available, stroke—one
of the major risks of hypertension—was the third leading cause
of death among women resulting in 100,050 deaths among women and
62,622 among men.1 In 2003, 2.4 percent of both men and women reported
ever having a stroke. Stroke was most commonly reported by non-Hispanic
Black women, followed by non-Hispanic White women; Hispanic women
were least likely to report ever having a stroke.
1National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United
States, 2004. Hyattsville, MD: 2004.