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J Natl Med Assoc. 2004 Sep; 96(9): 1221–1224.
PMCID: PMC2568468

Misconceptions of hypertension.


A prospective questionnaire study of the misconceptions of hypertension by hypertensive patients was carried out in 1365 male and female hypertensive patients aged between 21-80 years. About 40% of the study population could not define hypertension, but even those who did appeared to be in denial of the disease. About 24% were unaware of the causes of hypertension; the most common cause mentioned was psychosocial stress. Between 0.6% and 14% of subjects were unaware of the effect of risk factors, like obesity, cigarette smoking, exercise, excessive alcohol and salt consumption, or hypertension. Interestingly, some feel that regular sexual intercourse worsens hypertension. Eight percent of subjects had no fear of the effect of poor compliance to antihypertensive medication, while 10% were anxious about the heavy financial burden imposed by hypertension management, Sixty-five percent of subjects feel that they will require no more medication once they achieve control of their blood pressure. Twenty-one percent of respondents are of the opinion that they will achieve a permanent cure only from alternative medical practitioners and will consider using alternative medicine in future. The study confirms the importance of medical education for patients irrespective of their level of education, as many of these patients still entertain that gross misconceptions may have negative impact on outcome.

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Selected References

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