International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 59, Issue 5, pp 759–767 | Cite as

Exploring differences in prevalence of diagnosed, measured and undiagnosed hypertension: the case of Ireland and the United States of America

Original Article

Abstract

Objectives

To: (1) compare prevalence of diagnosed, measured, total and undiagnosed hypertension among late middle-aged adults in the United States of America and Ireland; (2) identify the most important predictors of hypertension and compare them across the two countries; (3) investigate whether cross-national differences in prevalence rates are explained by country differences in behavioural risk factors.

Methods

We use data from the 2008 and 2010 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (n = 1,938) and the first wave (2009/2011) of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (n = 1,455). We employ probit models to determine whether individual attributes, socioeconomic characteristics and behavioural health factors, including smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity, are associated with hypertension. We do not consider whether respondents are on antihypertensive medication.

Results

Prevalence of diagnosed hypertension is higher in the United States of America (48.6 versus 32.4 %). Prevalence of undiagnosed hypertension is higher in Ireland (41.2 versus 19.7 %). Little of the difference in prevalence rates is explained by country differences in behavioural risk factors.

Conclusions

A greater focus on prevention of high blood pressure is necessary in Ireland.

Keywords

Hypertension Diagnosed Measured Undiagnosed Ireland USA 

References

  1. Avendano M, Glymour MM (2008) Stroke disparities in older Americans. Is wealth a more powerful indicator of risk than income and education? Stroke 39:1533–1540PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Avendano M, Glymour MM, Banks J, Mackenbach JP (2009) Health disadvantage in US adults aged 50 to 74 years: a comparison of the health of rich and poor Americans with that of Europeans. Am J Public Health 99(3):150–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Banks J, Marmot M, Oldfield Z, Smith JP (2006) Disease and disadvantage in the United States and in England. JAMA 295(17):2037–2045PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Banks J, Muriel A, Smith JP (2010) Disease prevalence, disease incidence, and mortality in the United States and England. Demography 47 Supplement: S211–S231Google Scholar
  5. Buhmann B, Rainwater L, Schmaus G, Smeeding TM (1988) Equivalence scales, well-being, inequality and poverty; sensitivity estimates across ten countries using the Luxembourg income study (LIS) data base. Rev Income Wealth 34(2):115–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Crimmins EM, Guyer H, Langa K, Ofstedal M, Wallace R, Weir D (2008) Documentation of physical measures, anthropometrics and blood pressure in the Health and Retirement Study. Survey Research Center. University of Michigan, Ann ArborCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Crimmins EM, Kim JK, Solé-Auró A (2011) Gender differences in health: results from SHARE, ELSA and HRS. Eur J Public Health 21(1):81–91PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. Cronin H, O’Regan C, Kenny RA (2011) Physical and behavioural health of older Irish adults. In: Barrett A, Savva G, Timonen V, Kenny RA (eds) Fifty plus in Ireland 2011: first results from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. Trinity College, Dublin, pp 73–154Google Scholar
  9. Department of Health and Children (DOHC) (1999) Building healthier hearts Introduction to the report of the cardiovascular health strategy group. Government Publications, DublinGoogle Scholar
  10. Department of Health and Children (DOHC) (2010) Changing cardiovascular health national cardiovascular health policy 2010–2019. Government Publications, DublinGoogle Scholar
  11. Egan BM, Zhao Y, Axon RN (2010) US trends in prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension, 1988–2008. JAMA 303:2043–2050PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Heeringa SG, Connor J (1995) Technical description of the health and retirement study sample design. Survey Research Center. University of Michigan, Ann ArborCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Huisman M, Kunst AE, Mackenbach JP (2003) Socioeconomic inequalities in morbidity among the elderly: a European overview. Soc Sci Med 57:861–873PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Joffres M, Falaschetti E, Gillespie C, Robitaille C, Loustalot F et al (2013) Hypertension prevalence, awareness, treatment and control in national surveys from England, the USA and Canada, and correlation with stroke and ischaemic heart disease mortality: a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open 3:e003423. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003423 PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. Juster FT, Suzman R (1995) An overview of the health and retirement study. J Hum Res 30:S7–S56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kaur P, Rao SR, Radhakrishnan E, Rajasekar D, Gupte MD (2012) Prevalence, awareness, treatment, control and risk factors for hypertension in a rural population in South India. Int J Public Health 57:87–94PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kearney PM, Whelton M, Reynolds K, Muntner P, Whelton PK, He J (2005) Global burden of hypertension: analysis of worldwide data. Lancet 365:217–223PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Laaser U, Breckenkamp J, Bjegovic V (2012) Treatment of hypertension in Germany: is there a social gradient? Int J Public Health 57:185–191PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Langa KM, Llewellyn DJ, Lang IA, Weir D, Wallace RC et al (2009) Cognitive health among older adults in the United States and in England. BMC Geriatr. doi:10.1186/1471-2318-9-23 PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. Mancia G, De Backer G, Dominiczak A, Cifkova R, Fagard R et al (2007) Guidelines for the management of arterial hypertension: the task force for the management of arterial hypertension of the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) and of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Eur Heart J 28:1462–1536PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. McGarrigle CA, Cronin H, Kenny RA (2014) The impact of being the intermediate caring generation and intergenerational transfers on self-reported health of women in Ireland. Int J Public Health 59(2):301–308PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. NHLBI (2004) The seventh report of the Joint National Committee on prevention, detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood pressure. NIH Publication No. 04-5230Google Scholar
  23. NHLBI (2014) National high blood pressure education program. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/about/nhbpep/. Accessed 9 May 2014
  24. Pagidipati NJ, Gaziano TA (2013) Estimating deaths from cardiovascular disease: a review of global methodologies of mortality measurement. Circulation 127:749–756PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  25. Pickering TG, Coats A, Mallion JM, Mancia G, Verdecchia P (1999) Blood pressure monitoring. Task force V: white-coat hypertension. Blood Press Monit 4:333–341PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ploubidis GB, Mathenge W, De Stavola B, Grundy E, Foster A, Kuper H (2013) Socioeconomic position and later life prevalence of hypertension, diabetes and visual impairment in Nakuru, Kenya. Int J Public Health 58:133–141PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. RAND (2011a) RAND HRS 2008 Income and wealth imputations. Produced by the RAND Center for the Study of Aging, with funding from the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration. Santa Monica, CAGoogle Scholar
  28. RAND (2011b) RAND HRS 2010 Income and wealth imputations. Produced by the RAND Center for the Study of Aging, with funding from the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration. Santa Monica, CAGoogle Scholar
  29. RAND HRS Data, Version L (2011a) Produced by the RAND Center for the Study of Aging, with funding from the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration. Santa Monica, CAGoogle Scholar
  30. RAND HRS Data, Version M (2011b) Produced by the RAND Center for the Study of Aging, with funding from the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration. Santa Monica, CAGoogle Scholar
  31. Sarang K, Sargent-Cox KA, French DJ, Kendig H, Anstey KJ (2012) Cross-national insights into the relationship between wealth and wellbeing: a comparison between Australia, the United States of America and South Korea. Ageing Soc 32:41–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Savva GM, Maty SC, Setti A, Feeney J (2013) Cognitive and physical health of the older populations of England, the United States, and Ireland: international comparability of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. JAGS 61(s2):S291–S298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. StataCorp (2011) Stata: Release 12. Statistical Software. StataCorp LP, College StationGoogle Scholar
  34. UNESCO (1997) International Standard Classification of Education. UNESCO, ParisGoogle Scholar
  35. Wang YR, Alexander GC, Stafford RS (2007) Outpatient hypertension treatment, treatment intensification, and control in Western Europe and the United States. Arch Intern Med 67(2):141–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. WHO (2012) Global Health Observatory (GHO). Country statistics. http://www.who.int/gho/countries/en/index.html. Accessed 9 May 2014
  37. WHO (2013) A global brief on hypertension. Silent killer, global public health crisis. Report no.: WHO/DCO/WHD/2013.2Google Scholar
  38. Williams R (2012) Using the margins command to estimate and interpret adjusted predictions and marginal effects. Stata J 12(2):308–331Google Scholar
  39. Wolf-Maier K, Cooper RS, Banegas JR, Giampaoli S, Hense HW et al (2003) Hypertension prevalence and blood pressure levels in 6 European countries, Canada, and the United States. JAMA 289:2363–2369PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wolf-Maier K, Cooper RS, Kramer H, Banegas JR, Giampaoli S et al (2004) Hypertension treatment and control in five European countries, Canada, and the United States. Hypertension 43:10–17PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), Department of Medical Gerontology, Lincoln Gate, Trinity CollegeDublinIreland
  2. 2.Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI)DublinIreland
  3. 3.Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing, St. James’s HospitalDublinIreland
  4. 4.Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity CollegeDublinIreland

Personalised recommendations