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J Hum Hypertens. 2010 Jul;24(7):439-46. doi: 10.1038/jhh.2009.85. Epub 2009 Nov 5.

Despite evidence-based guidelines, systolic blood pressure remains inadequately controlled in older hypertensive adults.

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  • 1Oulu City Hospital, Oulu, Finland.


We aimed to assess the trends in the prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of hypertension in Finnish men and women aged 60-74 years. Three independent cross-sectional population surveys were conducted in 1997, 2002 and 2007 in the province of North Karelia and the region of Helsinki-Vantaa. Random samples were selected from the national population register. The total number of participants was 3282. In 2007, the prevalence of hypertension was 79% in men and 78% in women. The mean systolic blood pressure (SBP) (in men, 151 mm Hg in 1997, 148 mm Hg in 2002 and 149 mm Hg in 2007; in women 150, 149 and 149 mm Hg, respectively) and prevalence of hypertension (77% in 1997, 74% in 2002 and 79% in 2007 in men; 75, 75 and 78% in women, respectively) remained stable. The mean diastolic blood pressure (BP) decreased in both genders. Awareness of hypertension increased from 60 to 71% in men (P<0.001 for trend) and from 66 to 76% (P=0.012) in women. The prevalence of antihypertensive drug treatment among hypertensive people increased from 35 to 56% in both genders (P<0.001). The proportion of treated hypertensive patients with adequately controlled BP increased from 16 to 32% in men (P<0.001) and from 16 to 30% in women (P=0.003). Hypertension care in older adults has improved in Finland during 1997 to 2007. The situation is not optimal: the main problem in this age group is high SBP.

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