Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was used in this study. Researchers compared findings of 1988 and 1994 surveys in which 16,351 participants were involved, with 1999 and 2004 surveys, in which 14,430 participants were involved.
There was a 24.4% prevalence of high blood pressure in the 1988-1994 group. This rose to 28.9% in the 1999-2004 group. The main driver responsible for increase in hypertension was obesity.
"Our success with hypertension treatment and control, while considerable, is far from ideal," said lead researcher Jeffrey A. Cutler. "Most importantly, we have to do a better job of prevention."
The study is published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.