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High Blood Press Cardiovasc Prev. 2012 Sep 1;19(3):129-35. doi: 10.2165/11632190-000000000-00000.

A survey on blood pressure levels and hypertension control in a sample of the Italian general population.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, University Sapienza of Rome, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Via di Grottarossa 1039, Rome, Italy.



Hypertension represents a major cardiovascular risk factor with relevant consequences on morbidity and mortality in the general population. An optimal control of blood pressure (BP) is far from being achieved.


The objective of this study was to explore awareness of BP levels, prevalence of risk factors and status of hypertension control in a sample of the Italian general population.


Subjects aged 18 years or older were enrolled on a voluntary basis during the 7th and 8th World Hypertension Days at our hospital centre, S. Andrea Hospital in Rome, and at other hospitals throughout the Italian Lazio region. Along with BP measurement, a short questionnaire was completed at the time of the interview.


Of 1165 individuals enrolled into the analysis, 71.7% were aware of their BP levels (82.5% among hypertensive patients). Within the whole cohort, 31.9% of subjects were under antihypertensive treatment, while the overall rate of subjects found to be hypertensive patients at our visit was 52.9% (n = 616). Among hypertensive patients taking antihypertensive drugs, 47.1% had controlled BP values with the remaining 52.9% showing uncontrolled hypertension. Mean systolic blood pressure (SBP) was 138.2 ± 20.7 mmHg and mean diastolic blood pressure (DBP) was 80.4 ± 11.3 mmHg in subjects receiving antihypertensive treatment. Among older hypertensive patients (71-94 years of age), only 76.9% were under treatment. Hypertensive males were more frequently treated than females in all age groups (p = 0.001). Smoking habit negatively affected efficacy of antihypertensive therapy in the age groups of 48-53 and 54-62 years (p = 0.008 and p = 0.01, respectively). Diabetic patients had higher mean SBP values than non-diabetic subjects (137.3 ± 22.1 vs 129.3 ± 18.2 mmHg, p = 0.02).


The results of our survey strongly support the need for a continuing educational effort aimed at providing correct advertisement of healthy lifestyles and awareness of adequate BP control. Based on our observations, particular attention has to be paid to women, younger subjects, elderly subjects and diabetic patients in order to reach appropriate BP control and reduction of cardiovascular risk in these subject categories.

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