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Health Indicator Report of Blood Pressure: Doctor-diagnosed Hypertension

High blood pressure (hypertension) is an important risk factor for heart disease and stroke. In most cases, it can be effectively managed with medication and lifestyle changes (such as diet, exercise, and abstaining from tobacco use). Treatment works best when high blood pressure is identified early. Because high blood pressure does not produce symptoms, regular screening is recommended. For most people, high blood pressure is defined as a systolic (upper) number of 140 or greater and a diastolic (lower) number of 90 or greater.
The rate of hypertension among Utah adults was significantly lower than the rate for U.S. adults (27.0% vs. 30.2%) in 2019. Data are only collected in odd years.

Doctor-diagnosed Hypertension, Utah and U.S., 1995-2019


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?" Response options are: "Yes", "No", "Yes but females told only during pregnancy, and "Told borderline high or pre-hypertensive." Women who report having hypertension only during pregnancy and individuals who are told they are borderline high are considered as having answered "No." In 2016, Utah BRFSS modified its methodology for age adjustment to increase the precision of the estimate. Data in IBIS charts have been updated back to 2011 forward to reflect this change. With this change, age adjustment for Utah is more consistent with both the U.S. and other states using IBIS.   [[br]] [[br]] Age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. population. [[br]] [[br]] Note: At the time of this update, the BRFSS U.S. dataset did not include an age variable but did include five age categories up to age 80+ (vs. the typical weighting scheme that includes 85+). Comparisons with both weighting schemes were compared using Utah data, and the difference was about 1/100 of a percentage point. [[br]] [[br]] Beginning in 2011, BRFSS data include both landline and cell phone respondent data along with a new weighting methodology called iterative proportional fitting, or raking. More details about these changes can be found at: [].

Data Sources

  • Utah Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Office of Public Health Assessment, Utah Department of Health
  • U.S. Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Division of Behavioral Surveillance, CDC Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services

Data Interpretation Issues

Data are self-reported and subject to respondents' recall and accuracy of reporting. To reduce sampling bias and more accurately represent population data, the BRFSS has changed survey methodology. In 2010, it began conducting surveys by cellular phone in addition to landline phones. It also adopted "iterative proportional fitting" (raking) as its weighting method. More details about these changes can be found at: [].


The percentage of adults who have ever been told by a doctor, nurse, or other health professional that they have high blood pressure. This indicator is used to estimate the prevalence of high blood pressure in Utah. Data are from the Utah Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.


The number of survey respondents who report they have ever been told by a doctor, nurse, or other health professional that they have high blood pressure.


The total number of survey respondents (BRFSS survey) excluding those with missing or refused values in the numerator.

Healthy People Objective HDS-5.1:

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

How Are We Doing?

The proportion of Utah adults who reported being told they had high blood pressure has remained relatively stable over the past decade. In 2019, over 1 in 4 (27.0%) Utah adults reported being told they had high blood pressure (age-adjusted rate). The percentage of adults who reported being told they had high blood pressure was much lower for women than men in every age group. The gender differences were less pronounced by age 65 and over. In this age group, the rate of high blood pressure was 56.4 percent among men and 54.0 percent among women in 2019 (crude rates). Rates of high blood pressure are somewhat similar among income categories. The rate was 24.7 percent among those with annual household incomes above $75,000, and 31.5 percent among those with household incomes below $25,000 in 2019 (age-adjusted rate). Doctor-diagnosed high blood pressure varied by educational level. Among college graduates, the rate was 26.0 percent, lower than the rate for those with less than a high school education (31.1%) in 2019. These rates represent adults aged 25 and over (age-adjusted rates). The rate of doctor-diagnosed high blood pressure was not significantly different between Hispanic (26.3%) and non-Hispanic Utahns (27.1%) in 2019 (age-adjusted rates).

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

In 2019, Utah had a lower age-adjusted high blood pressure prevalence (26.7%) than the U.S. (30.2%).

What Is Being Done?

The Healthy Environments Active Living (HEAL) Program was previously known as the Healthy Living through Environment, Policy and Improved Clinical Care (EPICC) Program. EPICC was created 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. HEAL 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. HEAL is part of the Utah Million Hearts Coalition. Million Hearts 2022 is an initiative co-led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Million Hearts aimed to reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. by 1 million. The Utah Million Hearts Coalition has initiated efforts to educate staff in primary care clinics on the proper techniques for measuring high blood pressure.

Evidence-based Practices

Health care organizations can improve high blood pressure control among their patient populations. Some strategies that have proven effective and sustainable include: * Maximizing the use of electronic medical records that allow providers to track patient care over time, and incorporate prompts and reminders to improve care. * Integrating team based care that makes full use of the skills of health care team members to identify and treat patients with high blood pressure, provide patient support and follow-up care, and help patients manage their medicines and stick to a blood pressure control plan. * Reinforcing the importance of maintaining behaviors that affect blood pressure, such as eating a healthy, low sodium diet; being physically active; maintaining a healthy weight; and abstaining from smoking.

Available Services

The Utah Department of Health's Healthy Environments Active Living (HEAL) Program works with health care organizations and other partners to improve the accuracy of blood pressure measurement and to improve medication adherence for people with high blood pressure. See the HEAL website for more details: [].[[br]] [[br]]

Health Program Information

In 2012, the Utah Department of Health published a statistical report titled ''The Impact of Heart Disease and Stroke in Utah''. This report describes overall patterns in cardiovascular disease and risk factors at the state and national levels and among Utah sub-populations (age group, sex, race, ethnicity, and Utah Small Area). To download the full report, please visit [].[[br]] Originally the EPICC Program (The Healthy Living through Environment, Policy, and Improved Clinical Care Program), The Healthy Environments, Active Living (HEAL) Program is a program within the Utah Department of Health Bureau of Health Promotion. HEAL focuses on enabling education and engaged change for public health by engaging its three main audiences: individuals, partners, and decision makers. HEAL champions public health initiatives and addresses the challenges of making health awareness and access truly universal and equitable in eight key areas: nutrition, heart health, diabetes, physical activity, schools, child care, community health workers, and worksites.
Page Content Updated On 11/16/2021, Published on 11/18/2021
The information provided above is from the 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 Wed, 05 October 2022 19:25:13 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 18 Nov 2021 10:06:18 MST