Women's Health USA 2007
Photographs of women's faces
Health Status > Health Indicators

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a risk factor for a number of conditions, including heart disease and stroke. It is defined as a systolic pressure (during heartbeats) of 140 or higher, and/or a diastolic pressure (between heartbeats) of 90 or higher. In 2005, women had higher overall rates of hypertension than men (265.9 versus 249.9 per 1,000 population); however, these rates varied by race and ethnicity. For instance, non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic women had higher rates of hypertension than their male counterparts, while non-Hispanic White and Asian women had rates similar to men. Among women, non-Hispanic Blacks had the highest rate of hypertension (353.8 per 1,000 women), followed by non-Hispanic Whites (264.5 per 1,000); Asian women had the lowest rate (190.4 per 1,000).

Rates of hypertension increase substantially with age and are highest among those 75 years and older, which demonstrates the chronic nature of the disease. The rate among women aged 1844 years was 90.7 per 1,000 women in 2005, compared to a rate of 345.8 per 1,000 women aged 4564 years, 570.6 per 1,000 women aged 6574 years, and 633.0 per 1,000 women aged 75 years and older. This means that almost two-thirds of those in the oldest age group have ever been diagnosed with hypertension.


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Women's Health USA 2007 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Women's Health USA 2007. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2007.