, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 174-179,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 06 Jan 2011

The Rise and Fall of Hypertension: Lessons Learned from Eastern Europe


Hypertension is a progressive cardiovascular syndrome that arises from many differing, but interrelated, etiologies. Hypertension is the most prevalent cardiovascular disorder, affecting 20% to 50% of the adult population in developed countries. Arterial hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and death. Epidemiologic data have shown that control of hypertension is achieved in only a small percentage of hypertensive patients. Findings from the World Health Organization project Monitoring Trends and Determinants in Cardiovascular Diseases (MONICA) showed a remarkably high prevalence (about 65%) of hypertension in Eastern Europeans. There is virtually no difference however, between the success rate in controlling hypertension when comparing Eastern and Western European populations. Diagnosing hypertension depends on both population awareness of the dangers of hypertension and medical interventions aimed at the detecting elevated blood pressure, even in asymptomatic patients. Medical compliance with guidelines for the treatment of hypertension is variable throughout Eastern Europe. Prevalence of hypertension increases with age, and the management of hypertension in elderly is a significant problem. The treatment of hypertension demands a comprehensive approach to the patient with regard to cardiovascular risk and individualization of hypertensive therapy.