High blood pressure statistics
High blood pressure (or hypertension) is the most common of all the conditions of the circulatory system. (1)
In 2003, high blood pressure was the greatest attributor to the burden of CVD accounting for 42.1% of CVD’s total burden. (2)
In 2014/15, close to 6 million Australians (34%) aged 18 years and over had high blood pressure (systolic or diastolic blood pressure is ≥140/90 mmHg or taking medication). Of these, more than two thirds (68%) had uncontrolled or unmanaged high blood pressure (not taking medication), representing 4 million adult Australians. (1)
Uncontrolled/unmanaged high blood pressure
In 2014/15, men were more likely to have uncontrolled or unmanaged high blood pressure than women (24.4% vs. 21.7% respectively), while the proportion of Australians with uncontrolled or unmanaged high blood pressure increased with age.
Uncontrolled/unmanaged high blood pressure by location
In 2014/15, the prevalence of uncontrolled or unmanaged high blood pressure was lowest in Western Australia (20.4%) and highest in Tasmania (25.2%).
|New South Wales||21.3%|
|Australian Capital Territory||23.7%|
Heart Foundation HeartWatch
Told by a doctor/health professional
Based on the Heart Foundation HeartWatch survey, in 2017, almost a third (33%) of people stated that they have been told by a doctor that they have high blood pressure.
Close to two in three (64%) of these people are currently taking medication for their high blood pressure. (3)
High blood pressure by household income
In 2017, the lower the household income, the more likely a person was told by their doctor/health professional that they have high blood pressure.
|Less than $55,000||39.2|
|$55,000 to $85,000||33.9|
|$85,001 to $120,000||30.6|
|More than $120,000||27.4|
High blood pressure – metro vs. regional
In 2016, Australians living in regional areas (33.9%) were significantly more likely to have high blood pressure than their metropolitan counterparts (32.0%). (3)
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Health Survey 2014/15 (4364.0).
- Begg S, Vos T, Barker B, Stevenson C, Stanley L, Lopez AD, 2007. The burden of disease and injury in Australia 2003. PHE82. Canberra: AIHW.
- Heart Foundation. HeartWatch Survey 2017.