Vital Signs: High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

A stopwatch.

The CDC Vital Signs program is a call to action each month concerning a single, important public health topic. CDC Vital Signs for February focuses on cardiovascular disease, specifically control of hypertension and cholesterol.

High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol: Out of Control in the United States

For American Heart Month, the February edition of CDC Vital Signs focuses on cardiovascular disease, specifically high blood pressure and cholesterol, two of the biggest risk factors for heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases.

Every 39 seconds, an adult dies from a heart attack, stroke, or related disease. These conditions claim the lives of more than 800,000 adults each year, 150,000 of them are younger than age 65. The conditions are largely preventable.

Key Messages

  • 68 Million Adults have High blood pressure; 37 million have uncontrolled high blood pressure; and 20 million have untreated high blood pressure. 71 million people have high LDL Cholesterol; 48 million have uncontrolled high LDL cholesterol; 37 million have untreated high LDL cholesterol.

    Cardiovascular diseases kill more than 800,000 adults in the US each year. Of these, 150,000 are younger than age 65.

  • 68 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure.
  • 71 million U.S. adults have high LDL cholesterol.
  • Nearly 2 out of 3 adults with high LDL cholesterol and about half of adults with high blood pressure don’t have their condition under control.
  • Having health insurance is not sufficient to achieve the control.
  • Improvements in the way health care is delivered in the U.S. are needed.

Vital Signs Resources


More Information

High Blood Pressure


Heart Disease