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Hypertension. 2001 Oct;38(4):827-32.

Improved hypertension management and control: results from the health survey for England 1998.

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Royal Free and University College Medical School, London, UK.


A survey in 1994 showed that among the 20% of the adult English population who were identified as hypertensive, approximately 30% had their blood pressures controlled to <160 mm Hg systolic and <95 mm Hg diastolic. The 1998 Health Survey for England data update the 1994 findings in light of new thresholds and targets for treatment outlined in recent national and international guidelines. This cross-sectional survey is analyzed to describe the prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in a random, nationally representative sample of 11 529 English adults (>/=16 years) living in noninstitutional households in 1998 and to compare these rates with those from 1994. In 1998, 20% and 37% of adults were hypertensive according to the old (systolic >/=160 mm Hg or diastolic >/=95 mm Hg) and new (systolic >/=140 mm Hg or diastolic >/=90 mm Hg) definitions, respectively. Corresponding values in 1994 were 20% and 38%. Treatment and control rates among hypertensive adults (new definition) improved from 26% to 32% and from 6% to 9%, respectively, although 60% of those on treatment received only 1 antihypertensive drug in both years. Among persons with controlled hypertension, 59% reported having received nonpharmacological advice from their physicians in 1998 compared with 30% in 1994. Rates of hypertension treatment and control have increased significantly (P=0.05 and P<0.01, respectively) since 1994 but remain low by international standards. The 1998 data suggest that improved detection, greater use of nonpharmacological measures, and increased use of >1 antihypertensive agent per patient would produce greater success in achieving target levels. This could lead to major reductions in fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events.

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