HealthDay News — The overall death rate from hypertension in the United States has increased 23% since 2000, even as the death rate from all other causes has dropped 21%, according to a March data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

To investigate trends in hypertension-related mortality for 2000 to 2013, Hsiang-Ching Kung, PhD, of the Division of Vital Statistics, and colleagues culled data from multiple cause-of-death data files from the National Vital Statistics System.

From 2000 through 2013, the death rate from hypertension rose 58.2% for men aged 45 to 64 years and increased 36.8% for women aged 45 to 64 years. Those aged 85 years and older were also not spared, with men seeing a 27.5% increase in the death rate from hypertension between 2000 and 2005, while women saw an increase of 23% in that same period. Between 2005 and 2013, those rates continued to increase, but more slowly, found the researchers.

Deaths related to hypertension varied by race. The death rate increased among Hispanics between 2000 and 2005. Since then, the death rate increased for whites but decreased among blacks, the researchers found.

 Although the overall number of deaths related to hypertension was still higher among blacks than among whites and Hispanics, the gap between them narrowed.

“The disparity is narrowing, but more studies are needed to see why that’s the case,” noted the researchers.

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