Select Key Metrics on Cardiovascular Health

smoking Smoking Prevalence

Percent of adults who currently smoke tobacco (including cigarettes, cigars, pipes or any other smoked tobacco products).

Blood pressure Hypertension Prevalence

Percent of adults who have been told by a doctor or other health professional that they have high blood pressure or hypertension.

diabetes Diabetes Prevalence

Percent of adults with current detected diabetes (type I or type II). 



Black Philadelphians face higher rates of smoking, obesity, diabetes, and blood pressure, contributing to higher rates of premature cardiovascular disease mortality. For non-Hispanic Black Philadelphians, the age-adjusted rate of premature cardiovascular death is 79 per 100,000 people compared to 50 for non-Hispanic white Philadelphians.


These high rates are due in part to neighborhood conditions that limit access to healthy food and opportunities for exercise.



Disparities in Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors

Sources: Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) Household Health Survey | 2014/15.


Disparities in cardiovascular disease prevention are driven by systemic forces that disproportionately result in higher mortality rates among Black adults. With higher rates of medical comorbidities including hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, Black adults also experience increased stress related to socioeconomic status, reduced access to specialty care, limited access to healthy foods, and fewer opportunities to exercise safely in their neighborhoods.

Ongoing Efforts in the Philadelphia Community

Jefferson University Hospital's Center for Urban Health leads the Blood Pressure Plus program throughout Philadelphia communities that are at higher risk for hypertension. The program provides screenings to educate Philadelphians about their risk for high blood pressure. The initiative highlights the impact of multi-stakeholder coalitions embedded within communities to move the needle on preventive health measures.

The City of Philadelphia launched a new public health campaign called "What's your Pressure?" in 2021 geared towards Black men ages 25 to 55. The campaign is organized through Food Fit Philly and partners with 15 barbershops throughout Philadelphia in neighborhoods with high incidence of hypertension among Black men. The campaign brings awareness to high blood pressure by sharing the personal stories of four Black men in Philadelphia who have dealt with high blood pressure and the subsequent health consequences.

Efforts listed here may be independent of Accelerate Health Equity. Check back to learn about a broader list of health equity efforts.