Skip directly to searchSkip directly to the site navigationSkip directly to this page's context menuSkip directly to the page's main content

PHOM Indicator Report of Blood Pressure: Doctor-diagnosed Hypertension

Why Is This Important?

High blood pressure (hypertension) is an important risk factor for heart disease and stroke. It is preventable, and in most cases it can be treated with medication and lifestyle changes, such as diet, exercise, and tobacco cessation. Treatment works best when high blood pressure is identified early. Because high blood pressure does not produce symptoms, regular screening is recommended.

Doctor-diagnosed Hypertension by Ethnicity, Utah, 2012 and 2013

::chart - missing::
data tableconfidence limits
Nationally, some studies suggest that Hispanic Americans may have similar high blood pressure rates as Whites. However, there is some variation in blood pressure prevalence among Hispanics of different racial groups: Black Hispanics may have a slightly greater risk of high blood pressure than White Hispanics, although education and income may modify this difference (American Heart Association, Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update, 2009).

Data Source

Utah Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Office of Public Health Assessment, Utah Department of Health

Data Notes

Doctor-diagnosed hypertension is based on the answer to the question: "Have you ever been told by a doctor, nurse, or other health professional that you have high blood pressure?" Those with hypertension only during pregnancy are excluded from the denominator.   '

Data are age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. population.

Risk Factors

Some risk factors for high blood pressure can be reduced through lifestyle changes. These include exercise, reducing excess weight, tobacco cessation, and low-sodium diet. The Institute of Medicine also recommends increasing dietary potassium, which can be achieved by eating more fruits and vegetables. Some risk factors are more difficult to control, such as family history and genetics. Certain medications can affect blood pressure as well. Individuals are encouraged to discuss their risk factors with a physician and monitor their blood pressure regularly.

How Are We Doing?

The proportion of Utah adults who reported being told they had high blood pressure has remained relatively constant over the past decade. In 2013, 24.2 percent of Utah adults (approximately 1 in 4) reported being told they had high blood pressure. This is slightly below the U.S. Healthy People 2020 target of 26.9 percent. Utah's state 2020 target is 22.8 percent.

The percentage of adults who reported being told they had high blood pressure was much lower for women than men in every age group except 65+. In this age group, the rate of high blood pressure was 56.7 percent among men and 56.1 percent among women in 2013.

Doctor-diagnosed high blood pressure varied considerably among income categories. The rate was 22.3% among those with annual household incomes above $75,000, and 29.9% among those with household incomes below $25,000 in 2012-2013.

Doctor-diagnosed high blood pressure varied by educational level. Among college graduates, the rate was 23.2 percent, much lower than the rate for those with below high school education (31.3%).

The rate of doctor-diagnosed high blood pressure was similar in Hispanic (26.5%) and non-Hispanic Utahns (25.1%) in 2012-2013.

For combined years 2012 and 2013, Black Utahns had a higher rate of doctor-diagnosed high blood pressure (37.7%) compared to the general Utah population (24.6%). The difference was statistically significant.

What Is Being Done?

The Healthy Living through Environment, Policy, and Improved Clinical Care Program (EPICC) was formed in 2013, consolidating three Utah Department of Health programs (Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program, and the Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity Program). The purpose of the consolidation was to ensure a productive, collaborative, and efficient program focused on health outcomes.

EPICC aims to reduce the incidence of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke by targeting risk factors including reducing obesity, increasing physical activity and nutritious food consumption, and improving diabetes and hypertension control.

EPICC is part of the Utah Million Hearts Coalition, which is part of a national effort to reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. by 1 million by 2017. The Utah Million Hearts Coalition has initiated efforts to educate primary care staff on the proper measurement of high blood pressure. Measuring high blood pressure properly helps to reduce the number of people who have high blood pressure but have not been diagnosed with the condition. It also helps to ensure that people who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure are treated effectively.

Healthy People Objective HDS-5.1:

Reduce the proportion of adults with hypertension
U.S. Target: 26.9 percent
State Target: 22.8 percent

Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 10/26/2014

Other Views

The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Fri, 03 July 2015 17:41:32 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Sun, 30 Nov 2014 23:08:38 MST