ARTICLE

Large Increases in Hypertension Diagnosis and Treatment in Canada After a Healthcare Professional Education Program.

Hypertension. 2006 Sep 18 Onysko J, Maxwell C, Eliasziw M, Zhang JX, Johansen H, Campbell NR. Centre for Chronic Disease, Prevention and Control, Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; the Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary and Institute of Health Economics, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; the Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Libin Cardiovascular Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and the Health Statistics Division, Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

This study was conducted to compare the self-reported prevalence and treatment of hypertension in adult Canadians before and subsequent to the implementation of the Canadian Hypertension Education Program in 1999. Data were obtained from 5 cycles of the Canadian Health Surveys between 1994 and 2003 on respondents aged >/=20 years. Piecewise linear regression was used to calculate the average annual increase in rates, before and after 1999. Between 1994 and 2003, the percentage of adult Canadians aware of being diagnosed with hypertension increased by 51% (from 12.37% to 18.74%; P<0.001), and the percentage prescribed antihypertensive drugs increased by 66% (from 9.57% to 15.86%; P<0.001). After 1999, there was approximately a doubling of the annual rate of increase in the diagnosis of hypertension (from 0.52% of the population per year before 1999 to 1.03% per year after 1999; P<0.001) and the percentage prescribed antihypertensive drugs (from 0.54% of the population per year before 1999 versus 0.98% per year after 1999; P<0.001). The proportion of those aware of the diagnosis of hypertension but not being treated with drugs was reduced by half between 1994 and 2003 (from 31.47% untreated to 15.34% untreated; P<0.001). There was a greater increase in awareness of hypertension and use of antihypertensive drugs among men compared with women after 1999. The large increase in the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension in Canada between 1994 and 2003 is consistent with an overall beneficial effect of the Canadian Hypertension Education Program, including a reduced gender gap in hypertension care.

 

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