The "Silent Killer": 1 in 3 adults and 1 in 8 children have high blood pressure (hypertension)

The "Silent Killer": 1 in 3 adults and 1 in 8 children have high blood pressure (hypertension)

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects 1 in 3 adults (1,2) and 1 in 8 children (3). It is often referred to as the "silent killer". According to a national survey 74% of those affected did not know they had high blood pressure and there can be no obvious signs or symptoms (2). 

Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps it around your body. When this force is consistently too high, it can damage arteries, organs, and increase the risk of serious health conditions such as heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and kidney problems.


Typical definitions of blood pressure readings for adults and children aged 13-17 years when taken on multiple occasions are shown below (4,5). For children aged 1-12 years ≥90th percentile is elevated and ≥95th percentile is high according to their age and gender (6).

Normal blood pressure

less than 120 mm Hg for systolic

less than 80 mm Hg for diastolic

Elevated blood pressure

120-129 mm Hg for systolic

less than 80 mm Hg for diastolic

High blood pressure

130 mm Hg or higher for systolic

higher than 80 mm Hg for diastolic 


It’s important to have regular check-ups to measure your blood pressure levels and learn how to manage it by consulting your healthcare professional for better health and well-being. Remember, early intervention and a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in keeping your blood pressure within a safe range and improving your overall quality of life.


Diet is one of the major modifiable risk factors of high blood pressure. Consuming a healthy dietary pattern such as the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) dietary patterns that are low in sodium, includes herbs, spices, vegetables and fruits can help prevent and manage high blood pressure. Try our Heartful Flavours heart-healthy salt-free meal base seasonings that come with nutritionally balanced recipes today!



  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2019). High blood pressure. AIHW.
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2017-18). Hypertension and measured high blood pressure. ABS. 
  3. Larkins NG, Teixeira-Pinto A, Craig JC. The prevalence and predictors of hypertension in a National Survey of Australian Children. Blood Press. 2018 Feb;27(1):41-47. doi: 10.1080/08037051.2017.1380502. Epub 2017 Sep 22. Erratum in: Blood Press. 2018 Jun;27(3):183. PMID: 28937287.
  4. Whelton PK, Carey RM, Aronow WS, Casey DE Jr, Collins KJ, Dennison Himmelfarb C, DePalma SM, Gidding S, Jamerson KA, Jones DW, MacLaughlin EJ, Muntner P, Ovbiagele B, Smith SC Jr, Spencer CC, Stafford RS, Taler SJ, Thomas RJ, Williams KA Sr, Williamson JD, Wright JT Jr. 2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults: Executive Summary: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Hypertension. 2018 Jun;71(6):1269-1324. doi: 10.1161/HYP.0000000000000066. Epub 2017 Nov 13. Erratum in: Hypertension. 2018 Jun;71(6):e136-e139. Erratum in: Hypertension. 2018 Sep;72(3):e33. PMID: 29133354.
  5. Unger T, Borghi C, Charchar F, Khan NA, Poulter NR, Prabhakaran D, Ramirez A, Schlaich M, Stergiou GS, Tomaszewski M, Wainford RD, Williams B, Schutte AE. 2020 International Society of Hypertension Global Hypertension Practice Guidelines. Hypertension. 2020 Jun;75(6):1334-1357. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.120.15026. Epub 2020 May 6. PMID: 32370572.
  6. Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne (2021). Hypertension in children and adolescents. RCH.


Leave your thought here

Disclaimer: All content and linked content is for informational purposes only. Always consult a health professional for medical or nutrition advice, diagnosis, or treatment before making any changes.