HealthDay News — According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, 17 million American adults may have masked hypertension.

A team led by Joseph Schwartz, PhD, of Stony Brook University in New York, analyzed its own database as well as data from a national US government survey on nutrition and health.

Based on the analysis, the researchers estimated that 12.3% of Americans over the age of 21 have masked hypertension. 

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That translates into about 1 in every 8 people — or 17.1 million Americans, Schwartz’s team said. Masked hypertension was typically more common among males than females. Having diabetes raised the odds for the condition, and so did advancing age.

“To our knowledge, this study provides the first estimate of US masked hypertension prevalence — nearly 1 in 8 adults with non-elevated clinic blood pressure — and suggests that millions of US adults may be misclassified as not having hypertension,” the authors write.


Wang YC, et al. “Prevalence Of Masked Hypertension Among US Adults With Non-Elevated Clinic Blood Pressure”. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2017. doi: 10.1093/aje/kww237. [Epub ahead of print]

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