Executive Summary from the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Control Hypertension

Nearly half of U.S. adults have hypertension, or high blood pressure, and only about one in four of those individuals has their hypertension under control. Hypertension is a major preventable risk factor for heart disease and stroke, which are the first and fifth leading causes of death in the United States, respectively. People of all ages are impacted by hypertension, but certain groups have disproportionately high rates of hypertension and its related health consequences.

The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Control Hypertension (Call to Action) seeks to avert the negative health effects of hypertension by identifying evidence-based interventions that can be implemented, adapted, and expanded in diverse settings across the United States. Although many of the interventions described in this Call to Action can help prevent hypertension, the focus of the publication is on improving control among the millions of U.S. adults who already have hypertension. This Call to Action outlines three goals to improve hypertension control across the United States, and each goal is supported by strategies intended to accelerate actions to achieve success:

  • Goal 1. Make hypertension control a national priority.
  • Goal 2. Ensure that the places where people live, learn, work, and play support hypertension control.
  • Goal 3. Optimize patient care for hypertension control.
Goals and Strategies to Improve Hypertension Control. Logos of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Public Health Service. The strategies fall into three categories: Prioritize Control Nationally (illustrated by a golf flag with a heart and EKG graph line); cultivate community supports (illustrated by a pair of hands holding a heart); and optimize patient care (illustrated by a silhouette of a health care professional wearing a stethoscope. Prioritize Control Nationally: Increase aw

The Call to Action recognizes the conditions in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age directly impact opportunities for success and drive health equality. Broadly achieving health equity in the U.S. will require dynamic societal shifts. In support of advancements in health equity, this Call to Action focuses on specific and tangible interventions that can be tailored, replicated, and scaled to impact one of the highest burden health conditions in the U.S. This Call to Action provides targeted strategies that different sectors can take to collectively improve hypertension control across the United States.

In many areas, we know what works, but we need to replicate and expand these efforts and continue to explore new interventions to achieve control across all population groups. We must act to preserve the nation’s cardiovascular health now and into the future. Together, we’ve got this!

Content created by Office of the Surgeon General
Content last reviewed