High blood pressure, 2009

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High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and kidney failure. It can narrow and block arteries as well as strain and weaken the body's organs.1

In 2009, 16.9% of Canadians aged 12 and older reported having high blood pressure. This was not a significant change from 2008, though it was an increase from 16.0% in 2007.

In 2009, females (17.3%) were more likely than males (16.4%) to report that they had been diagnosed with hypertension (Chart 1).

Chart 1
Percentage diagnosed with high blood pressure, by sex, household population aged 12 and older, Canada, 2001 to 2009

Description

Chart 1: Percentage diagnosed with high blood pressure, by sex, household population aged 12 and older, Canada, 2001 to 2009

Source: Canadian Community Health Survey, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

High blood pressure rates increased with each successive age group for both males and females in 2009. At ages 12 to 34 and 45 to 54, men had higher hypertension rates; at 65 and older, women had higher rates (Chart 2).

Chart 2
Percentage diagnosed with high blood pressure, by age group and sex, household population aged 12 and older, Canada, 2009

Description

Chart 2: Percentage diagnosed with high blood pressure, by age group and sex, household population aged 12 and older, Canada, 2009

Source: Canadian Community Health Survey, 2009.

The proportion of residents who reported high blood pressure was below the national average in four provinces and territories: Alberta, 14.6%; British Columbia, 14.9%; the Northwest Territories, 12.3% (should be interpreted with caution); and Nunavut, 11.8%. A higher proportion of residents of Newfoundland and Labrador (21.6%), Nova Scotia (21.5%) and New Brunswick (20.7%) reported that they had been diagnosed with hypertension, compared with the national average rate. The remaining provinces reported rates that were about the same as the national average.

Because of the strong relationship between age and high blood pressure, a province or territory with a disproportionately 'younger' population would be expected to have a hypertension rate below the national average. Conversely, a province or territory with a disproportionately 'older' population should have a hypertension rate above the national average. To remove the effect of different age distributions, the high blood pressure rates were recalculated as if the age groups in each province and territory were the same as at the national level. Based on these age-standardizing calculations, only British Columbia had a hypertension rate that was lower than the national average. Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick had hypertension rates above the national average.


End notes

1. Heart and Stroke Foundation. http://www.heartandstroke.ca (accessed May 10, 2010).

References

Garriguet, Didier. 2007. "Sodium consumption at all ages." Health Reports. Vol. 18, no. 2. May. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 47–52. /pub/82-003-x/2006004/article/sodium/9608-eng.pdf (accessed May 10, 2010).

Heart and Stroke Foundation. http://www.heartandstroke.ca (accessed May 10, 2010).

Johansen, Helen. 1999. "Living with heart disease—the working—age population." Health Reports. Vol. 10, no. 4. Spring. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 33-45. /studies-etudes/82-003/archive/1999/4508-eng.pdf (accessed May 10, 2010).

Johansen, Helen, Mukund Nargundkar, Cyril Nair, Greg Taylor and Susie ElSaadany. 1997. "At risk of first or recurring heart disease." Health Reports. Vol. 9, no. 4. Spring. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p.19–29. /studies-etudes/82-003/archive/1998/3683-eng.pdf (accessed May 10, 2010).

Data

Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from CANSIM table 105–0501.

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