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Intern Med J. 2008 Dec;38(12):879-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2007.01583.x. Epub 2008 Feb 14.

Prevalence, detection and drug treatment of hypertension in a rural Australian population: the Greater Green Triangle risk factor study 2004-2006.

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Greater Green Triangle University Department of Rural Health, Flinders University and Deakin University, Warrnambool, Australia.



Hypertension is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease; however, limited findings are available on its detection and management in rural Australia.


To assess the prevalence, awareness and treatment of hypertension in a rural South-East Australian population.


Three cross-sectional surveys in Limestone Coast, Corangamite Shire and Wimmera regions during 2004-2006 using a random population sample (n = 3320, participation rate 49%) aged 25-74 years. Blood pressure was measured by trained nurses. Information on history of hypertension and medication was obtained by questionnaires. Hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure >or=140 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure >or=90 mmHg and/or on antihypertensive drug treatment.


Overall, one-third of participants had hypertension; of these, two-thirds, 54% (95% confidence interval (CI) 47-60) of men and 71% (95% CI 65-77) of women, were aware of their condition. Half of the participants with hypertension were treated and nearly half of these were controlled. Both treatment and control were more common in women (60%, 95% CI 54-67 and 55%, 95% CI 47-64) compared with men (42%, 95% CI 36-49 and 35%, 95% CI 26-44). Monotherapy was used by 55% (95% CI 48-61) of treated hypertensives. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors were the most frequently used class of antihypertensive drugs in men, whereas angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor antagonists and diuretics were all widely used among women.


This study emphasizes suboptimal detection and treatment of hypertension, especially in men, in rural Australia.

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