From Our 2011 Archives

1 in 4 U.S. Adults Treated for High Blood Pressure: Report

THURSDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- One-quarter of American adults received treatment for high blood pressure in 2008, according to new research from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Of those 55.1 million people with high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, 29 percent were black patients who incurred more than $1,000 in medical costs, the federal agency noted in its Sept. 27 News and Numbers summary.

The research, based on data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, also revealed that 25 percent of white adults were treated for high blood pressure in 2008, compared to 15 percent of Hispanics and 20 percent of people of other races.

Overall, total costs for treatment of the condition were $47.3 billion in 2008, including $21.3 billion for prescription drugs, $13 billion on doctor visits and an additional $13 billion spent on hospitalizations, emergency room visits and home health care.

The average cost for treatment among Hispanics was $1,272, more than any other race or ethnicity. In contrast, the research showed white people incurred $748 in treatment costs.

Most people treated for high blood pressure in 2008 were 65 or older. This age group accounted for nearly 60 percent of reported treatments. Meanwhile, patients ranging in age from 45 to 64 accounted for about 32 percent of reported treatments and those between the ages of 18 and 44 were just 5 percent.

The federal agency noted that 25 percent of women received treatment for high blood pressure in 2008, compared to 23 percent of men.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

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SOURCE: U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, news release, Sept. 28, 2011