High blood pressure, 2011

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 2011, 17.6% of Canadians aged 12 and older reported having high blood pressure. This was not a significant change from 2010, though it is an increase from 16.9% in 2009.

From 2001 to 2009, females were more likely than males to report that they had been diagnosed with high blood pressure. However, since 2010 there has been no significant difference between the sexes (Chart 1).

In addition, Canadians who were obese – based on respondent-reported height and weight and Health Canada guidelines on body mass index – were more likely to have high blood pressure than those who were not obese.  In 2011, 32.4% of Canadians who were obese had high blood pressure, compared with 15.8% of those who were not obese.

Chart 1
Percentage diagnosed with high blood pressure, by sex, household population aged 12 or older, Canada, 2001 to 2011

Description

Chart 1 Percentage diagnosed with  high blood pressure, by sex, household population aged 12 or older, Canada, 2001 to 2011

Source: Canadian Community Health Survey, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.

High blood pressure rates increased with each successive age group for females.  For males, the rates increased with each successive age group up to 65 years of age, after which there is no significant difference for those 65 to 74 years of age compared to those 75 and older.

Between the age of 35 to 44 and 55-64, males had higher rates of hypertension than females, while at 75 and older, females' high blood pressure rates exceeded that of males (Chart 2).

Chart 2
Percentage diagnosed with high blood pressure, by age group and sex, household population aged 12 or older, Canada, 2011

Description

Chart 2 Percentage diagnosed with  high blood pressure, by age group and sex, household population aged 12 or  older, Canada, 2011

Source: Canadian Community Health Survey, 2011.

 

The proportion of residents who reported high blood pressure was below the national average in three provinces and territories: Alberta, 14.8%; Yukon, 13.7%; and the Northwest Territories, 8.9%2. A higher proportion of residents of Newfoundland and Labrador (22.4%), Prince Edward Island (20.7%), Nova Scotia (22.5%) and New Brunswick (21.7%) reported that they had been diagnosed with hypertension, compared with the national rate. Residents of the other provinces and territories reported rates that were about the same as the national average.

Because of the strong relationship between age and high blood pressure, provinces and territories with disproportionately younger populations are expected to have high blood pressure rates below the national average. The reverse is true for provinces and territories with older populations. 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 the national level. Based on these age-standardizing calculations, Quebec and British Columbia had hypertension rates that were lower than the national average. Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick had hypertension rates above the national average.


End note

  1. Heart and Stroke Foundation. http://www.heartandstroke.ca (accessed May 10, 2010).
  2. Use with caution (coefficient of variation 16.6% to 33.3%).

References

Garriguet, Didier. 2007. "Sodium consumption at all ages." Health Reports. Vol. 18, no. 2. May. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. pages. 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. pages 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. pages 19–29. /studies-etudes/82-003/archive/1998/3683-eng.pdf (accessed May 10, 2010).

Wilkins, Kathryn, Campbell, Norman R.C., Joffres, Michel R. 2010. "Blood pressure in Canadian adults." Health Reports. Vol. 21, no. 1. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. pages 1-10. /pub/82-003-x/2010001/article/11118-eng.pdf (accessed April 7, 2011).

Data

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