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J Hypertens. 2006 Jan;24(1):51-8.

Prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in the elderly: the Three City study.

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INSERM, U708, Paris, France.



To study management of hypertension in the elderly in a large population-based study and to evaluate the prevalence of hypertension and factors related to awareness, treatment, and control.


The Three City study, a population-based study among 9693 non-institutionalized individuals aged 65 years and over.


Blood pressure was measured with an automated electronic device, and treatment assessed, during home interview. Hypertension was defined by a mean blood pressure of two measurements superior to or equal to 160/95 mmHg and/or the intake of antihypertensive medications.


In the final working sample of 9090 people, 62% were hypertensive. More than two-thirds were aware of their hypertension and 81% were treated with antihypertensive drugs. Among 4573 treated hypertensive participants, 35% had a blood pressure over 160/95 mmHg and 69% over 140/90 mmHg. Women were more frequently aware of their hypertension, more frequently treated, and more frequently controlled than men. A history of cardiovascular disease, high body mass index, diabetes and high frequency of visits to the general practitioner were related to higher percentages of awareness and treatment. Among treated hypertensive patients, those with a history of cardiovascular events or who visited their general practitioner more often or who more often had their blood pressure measured were more frequently controlled. Awareness was strongly associated with treatment, but was inversely related to control of hypertension among treated hypertensive patients.


Management of hypertension, and particularly its control among treated hypertensive patients, needs to be improved in people aged 65 years and over.

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