The detection, treatment and control of high blood pressure in older British adults: cross-sectional findings from the British Women's Heart and Health Study and the British Regional Heart Study

Journal of Human Hypertension (2006) 20, 733–741
R Patel, D A Lawlor, P Whincup, D Montaner, O Papacosta, P Brindle and S Ebrahim Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK, Division of Community Health Sciences, St George's, University of London, London, UK , Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences, Royal Free and University College Medical School, London, UK Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

Among older people, the detection and control of hypertension is particularly important to reduce cardiovascular disease risk. This cross-sectional survey aimed to describe the detection, treatment and control of hypertension in older British adults.

A total of 3059 women and 3007 men aged 60–79 years were randomly selected from general practice age/sex registers in 24 British towns and examined from 1998 to 2001. Of these, 52.6% women and 47.9% men had at least one indicator of hypertension (high blood pressure on examination, or taking antihypertensive medication or recalled a doctor diagnosis of high blood pressure). Among women, 50% of those with any indication of hypertension were on treatment and 29% were well controlled, and among men 45% were on treatment and 16% were well controlled. With the exception of alcohol use in men (adjusted odds ratio 0.67 (0.46, 0.98)), socioeconomic factors, area of residence and behavioural risk factors were not associated with good control among those with hypertension in either sex. Of those on treatment, 20.7% of women and 28% of men were on two classes of antihypertensive medication and 3.5 and 4.9%, respectively, were on three or more classes of antihypertensive medication. Among those with a doctor diagnosis of hypertension and taking antihypertensive medication, the proportion with well controlled blood pressure did not differ between those on more than one antihypertensive and those on just one in either sex.

We conclude that targets of good control are rarely met in older individuals, who would benefit from the associated reduction in cardiovascular disease risk.




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