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Obesity and Hypertension Fact Sheet

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition that is commonly seen in people who are affected by excess weight or obesity. The risk of high blood pressure is greatest in those with upper body and abdominal obesity.

Being affected by excess weight or obesity increases your risk of developing high blood pressure. In fact, your blood pressure rises as your body weight increases.
  • One third of all hypertension cases are related to obesity
  • A modest weight loss of 5-10 percent can reduce blood pressure.
  • Losing two to three pounds can result in small decreases in blood pressure.
High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” because it often does not have warning signs or symptoms and many people don’t know they have it
  • Obesity causes high blood pressure in many ways.
  • Persistent obesity raises the blood pressure and makes the high blood pressure more difficult to control.
  • Just under half (47 percent) of people with high blood pressure have it under control.
  • Other factors that affect blood pressure include a high sodium diet, eating foods high in saturated fat, too much alcohol and inactivity.
  • Overweight and obesity are also risk factors for heart disease.
  • High blood pressure greatly raises your risk of heart attack, stroke or kidney failure.
Approximately 67 million American adults from all backgrounds (31 percent) have high blood pressure and the treatment is costly.

High blood pressure costs the Nation $47.5 billion each year.

For people younger than 45 years of age, high blood pressure affects more men than women.

For people 65 years and older, high blood pressure affects more women than men.

African Americans develop high blood pressure more often, and at an earlier age, than Caucasians and Hispanics do.

More African American women than men have high blood pressure.

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