Blood pressure is defined as the force exerted by blood against the walls of the arteries.  The aging process brings structural changes in the arterial wall that result in a reduced circumference of blood vessels. When other factors that affect blood pressure are present, blood pressure is increased to dangerously high levels, known as hypertension. Currently, almost 50% of older adults suffer from hypertension. Risk factors for hypertension include:


  • Obesity

  • Physical inactivity

  • Stressful lifestyle

  • Poor diet including excessive salt or alcohol consumption

  • Family history of hypertension

  • Race


    Hypertension is a strong predictor of Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke.


Hypertension Statistics


More than 30% of American adults have hypertension.

⦁Hypertension is known as a “silent disease” due to a lack of obvious symptoms. More than 25% of people with hypertension do not know it.

⦁More than 60% of people with hypertension do not have it sufficiently under control even with medication and other treatments.

⦁More than 40% of African Americans have hypertension.



©2014 NASM National Academy of Sports Medicine