Blood pressure

High blood pressure—also known as hypertension—is a major risk factor for chronic conditions including:

  • stroke
  • coronary heart disease
  • heart failure
  • chronic kidney disease.

Risk factors for high blood pressure include:

  • poor diet (particularly a high salt intake)
  • obesity
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • insufficient physical activity.

Based on measured data, among adults with disability:

  • 54% (more than half) have hypertension, comprised of
    • 32.3% with uncontrolled (or high) blood pressure
    • 21.4% with controlled blood pressure.

This is far higher than for adults without disability, of whom:

  • 27% have hypertension, comprised of
    • 19.8% uncontrolled blood pressure
    • 7.5% controlled blood pressure.

There was little difference by severity or sex but older adults (aged 65 and over) with disability (43%) are more likely than younger adults (aged 18–64) with disability (26%) to have uncontrolled blood pressure, similar to the pattern among those without disability.

Visualisation not available for printing

Figure 1 Alternative text

Column chart showing three categories of blood pressure status for adults with and without disability. The reader can select to display the chart by blood pressure category, including controlled blood pressure, uncontrolled blood pressure and all with hypertension, by disability status, by age group, including 18-64 years, 65+ years and all adults, and by sex. The chart shows adults with disability aged 65+ are more likely (78%) to have hypertension than those aged 18-64 (38%).


ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2019. Microdata: National Health Survey, 2017–18. ABS cat. no. 4364.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS. Findings based on AIHW analysis of the main unit record file (MURF).