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Curr Hypertens Rep. 2012 Oct;14(5):410-5. doi: 10.1007/s11906-012-0288-1.

Characteristics of hypertension in the Chinese population.

Author information

  • 1Centre for Epidemiological Studies and Clinical Trials, The Shanghai Institute of Hypertension, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China. jiguangwang@aim.com


In China, the prevalence of hypertension is currently 18.8 %, and a major risk factor for hypertension is unbalanced dietary sodium and potassium intakes. High dietary sodium intake may change the circadian rhythm of 24-h blood pressure, which is characterized by a higher nighttime blood pressure. The prevalence of isolated nighttime hypertension, defined as a nighttime blood pressure of at least 120 mm Hg systolic or 70 mm Hg diastolic and a daytime systolic/diastolic blood pressure less than 135/85 mm Hg, is higher in Chinese than in Europeans. The complications of hypertension are also different across ethnicities, being mainly stroke instead of myocardial infarction in Chinese. Lowering of blood pressure provides more protection against stroke than against myocardial infarction, and calcium channel blockers provide more protection against stroke than do other classes of antihypertensive drugs. Current Chinese hypertension guidelines recommend calcium channel blockers as the most suitable class of drugs of the five classes of antihypertensive drugs.

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