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S Afr Med J. 1986 Feb 1;69(3):165-9.

Hypertension in the coloured population of the Cape Peninsula.


In a random sample of 976 coloured people 17.2% of men and 18.4% of women were hypertensive (greater than or equal to 160/95 mmHg or receiving medication). In the same population 35.6% of men and 24.7% of women suffered from total hypertension (greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg). Men between 25 and 44 years had a markedly higher prevalence of hypertension than women of the same age. Above this age the situation was reversed. Correcting for under- and over-cuffing increased the mean pressures in men and decreased them in older women. Only 42.2% of hypertensive men and 69.9% of women were aware of their condition. Only 41.3% were on medication for it and a mere 16% had blood pressures below 160/95 mmHg. Hypertensives had significantly lower intakes of potassium, calcium, magnesium and saturated fat than normotensive subjects. Young hypertensives consumed more salt than older hypertensives. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressures were positively associated with alcohol consumption, smoking (in men), total serum cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, non-fasting triglyceride and uric acid levels. Hypertensive subjects were less educated and showed more type A coronary-prone behaviour than normotensives. A comparison of the prevalence of hypertension in the four South African ethnic groups is given.

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