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General Health : Diseases Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

Over 50% hypertensive people unaware of their condition
By Ben Wasserman
Nov 12, 2008 - 7:25:26 AM

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Wednesday November 12, 2008 ( -- A new study suggests that the majority of people with high blood pressure in the UK, Italy and Belgium are unaware that they have the condition.


The IMMIDIET study led by Professor Franco Cappuccio from Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick in the UK found 56 percent of hypertensive people did not know they had high blood pressure.


Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure, which by definition means blood level is 140/90 mmHg or higher.    In the United States, 73 million people age 20 and older have high blood pressure and the condition killed 54,707 people in the country according to the American Heart Association.


The study published today in the Journal of Hypertension, involved 1,604 citizens from three geographical areas, south-west London in the UK, Limburg in Belgium and Abruzzo in Italy.


The researchers found the overall prevalence of high blood pressure was 24 percent.  Of those with hypertension, 56 percent were unaware that they have high blood pressure. Of those who were aware, only less than half had their high blood pressure under control, that is, less than 140mmHg for systolic pressure and 80 for diastolic pressure.


In comparison, the UK participants had relatively lower blood pressure overall and better control than the Italians and Belgians did.


"Our results show that high blood pressure is a looming problem for Europe. Although in the UK the management of high blood pressure is better as compared to some other countries, in part due to the incentives that GPs receive to achieve blood pressure targets. We still have too many patients not adequately treated and the incidence of hypertension is rising still,"Cappuccio said.

© 2004-2008 by unless otherwise specified

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