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Med J Aust. 2003 Aug 4;179(3):135-9.

Untreated hypertension among Australian adults: the 1999-2000 Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab).

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Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC.



To measure the prevalence of untreated hypertension in Australian adults, and examine the associations with clinical and lifestyle factors.


AusDiab, a cross-sectional survey conducted between May 1999 and December 2000, involved participants from 42 randomly selected census districts throughout Australia.


Of 20 347 eligible people aged >or= 25 years who completed a household interview, 11 247 attended a physical examination (response rate, 55%).


The prevalence of hypertension (blood pressure >or= 140/90 mmHg or self-reported use of antihypertensive drugs) and its treatment; associations of clinical and lifestyle factors with the treatment of hypertension; and adequacy of treatment for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.


The prevalence of hypertension was 28.6 per 100 (95% CI, 25.0-32.3), and the prevalence of untreated hypertension was 15.2 per 100 (95% CI, 13.2-17.2). Of those with untreated hypertension, 80.8% (95% CI, 74.7%-85.0%) had had a blood pressure check within the preceding 12 months. At least one modifiable lifestyle factor was present in 71.7% (95% CI, 68.5%-74.8%) of participants with untreated hypertension. Although lower risk clinical characteristics of younger age and lack of hyperlipidaemia were independently associated with untreated hypertension, 53.5% warranted treatment based on current cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines and multivariable absolute risk assessment.


Considerable scope remains for reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease through lifestyle modification and rational treatment of hypertension.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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