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Health Rep. 2019 Feb 20;30(2):14-21. doi: 10.25318/82-003-x201900200002.

Blood pressure and hypertension.

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Health Statistics Division, Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.
Health Analysis Division, Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.



Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a major cause of disability and the leading risk factor for death around the world. Ongoing surveillance is necessary to monitor and assess the population burden of hypertension in Canada.


Using measured data from the Canadian Health Measures Survey, this analysis estimates average systolic blood pressure (BP), average diastolic BP, and hypertension prevalence, awareness, treatment and control in the population aged 20 to 79 years in the period from 2012 to 2015 by sex and age group. Crude and age-standardized overall estimates for 2007-2009, 2009-2011, 2012-2013 and 2014-2015 are also presented.


Among adults aged 20 to 79 years, 24% of males and 23% of females had hypertension, defined as measured BP ≥140/90 mm Hg or past-month use of antihypertensive medication. Hypertension prevalence increased to 40% for males and 32% for females when the BP threshold was lowered to ≥130/80 mm Hg. Among adults, 84% of people with hypertension were aware of their condition, 80% of hypertensive people were treated for their condition, and 66% had controlled hypertension (measured BP ⟨140/90 mm Hg), though those aged 20 to 39 were less likely than older age groups to be aware, treated or controlled. Crude and age-standardized rates remained fairly stable during the period from 2007-2009 to 2014-2015.


Hypertension prevalence among adults has remained stable over time in Canada, and hypertension awareness, treatment and control have remained high. However, rates of awareness, treatment and control are lower among younger adults. This finding highlights the importance of initiatives to encourage this population to have their blood pressure checked and treated.


Blood pressure; awareness; control; hypertension; prevalence

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