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Based on data from the 2015–2016 NHANES survey, about one-third of adults in the United States are hypertensive. Hypertension is uncontrolled in almost half of affected individuals, and of those with uncontrolled hypertension, about 36% are unaware of the diagnosis. Even in patients in whom hypertension is diagnosed and treated, control is attained in only 60%. Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality increase as both systolic and diastolic blood pressures rise, but in individuals over age 50 years, the systolic pressure and pulse pressure are better predictors of complications than diastolic pressure. The prevalence of hypertension increases with age, and it is more common in blacks than in whites. Adequate blood pressure control reduces the incidence of acute coronary syndrome by 20–25%, stroke by 30–35%, and heart failure by 50%.

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