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JAMA. 1979 Jan 5;241(1):43-6.

Family (parental) history and prevalence of hypertension. Results of a nationwide screening program.


In a nationwide screening program, blood pressure measurements, family (parental) histories of hypertension, and self-evaluations of weight class were obtained for more than a half million people. Positive family history was associated with hypertension prevalence double that found in persons with negative history and was independent of weight. When overweight was also present, however, hypertension prevalence was three to four times as high. Hypertension was more likely to have been previously diagnosed in screenees if family history was positive. However, such screenees did not have a higher proportion receiving effective treatment than those with negative family history. When an index case of hypertension is found, other family members should be examined. For persons with positive family history, nutritional-hygienic recommendations to avoid overweight may be important in reducing the risk of becoming hypertensive.

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