, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 31-36

Prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in a Spanish population

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Abstract

A cross-sectional population survey using a random, stratified sample into phases was conducted in order to assess the prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in Albacete (a south-eastern province in Spain) with 248 000 inhabitants over 18 years of age. The sample size was of 1322 people. Both systolic and diastolic BP were higher in men than in women and showed an increasing trend with age independently of gender. Assuming a cut-off for hypertension of <140/90 mm Hg and <160/95 mm Hg, we found a prevalence of hypertension of 32.7% and 23.1%, respectively. Overall, 56.5% of hypertensive subjects were aware of their condition. The degree of this awareness was significantly higher in women and in the elderly. The percentage of patients who were receiving antihypertensive treatment was 49.1%. This proportion was also higher among women, elderly people, and subjects living in urban areas. High BP was successfully controlled in 10.9% of the total hypertensive population which accounted for 24.4% of the treated patients. The corresponding figures for the <160/95 mm Hg cut-off were 38.5% and 60.6%, respectively. In the logistic regression model, male gender and size of the local community were significantly associated with a better pharmacological control of hypertension. We found a high prevalence of hypertension with low degree of awareness and control, despite the general progress made in the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension in Spain. Specific intervention programs are necessary to increase the extent of control of hypertension in our country.