More than a million older adults will be diagnosed with high blood pressure in the coming months, the American Heart Association has announced.
Researchers say the increase in older adults is the result of an increased number of heart attacks and strokes.
The group’s president, Dr. James Gorman, said the number of older adults who have high blood pressures is expected to rise by about 15% by the end of the decade.
While that’s a big jump, it won’t stop the rise in the numbers of people who have elevated blood pressure, Gorman said.
The new findings are based on a new analysis of medical records that the organization said it used to estimate how many older adults have high-risk hypertension.
While the majority of the cases are in people who are 50 and older, the number is also rising in people in their 40s and 50s, and those over 65, according to the new analysis.
The group says the rise of high blood-pressure is a sign of a more complex problem.
The findings come as more than 100 countries are considering a package of health reforms aimed at curbing the growing epidemic of heart disease.
In the past few years, the disease has claimed nearly 4,000 lives worldwide.
A recent study from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute estimated the number killed worldwide was at least 6.7 million, but experts say that number could be higher.
The American Heart Federation says the increase is a wake-up call for healthcare leaders, and the country must take urgent steps to prevent an epidemic of death from occurring in the future.
The new research, which focused on Medicare, Medicaid and other programs, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.