Majority of patients with high blood pressure unaware of their condition

Most patients across the globe who have high blood pressure don’t know about their condition, and of the people who are aware, only about a third have it under control, Med Page Today reported.

In a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers analyzed 142,042 patients from 17 countries over the course of 10 years.  The received measurements in regards to cardiovascular disease history – such as smoking, history of hypertension and alcohol consumption – as well as sitting blood pressure.

Of the participants with high blood pressure, 53.5 percent did not know they had it.  Among the patients who were aware of their condition, 87.5 percent were receiving drug treatment – but only 32.5 percent of these patients had their hypertension under control.

“Blood pressure lowering drugs are generally inexpensive and commonly available treatments," lead author Dr. Salim Yusuf, of Hamilton General Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, said in a statement. "However, only a third of patients commenced on treatment are on enough treatment to control their blood pressure. This is worst in low income countries, but significant in high and middle income countries too."

High-income countries referenced in the study included Canada, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates, while low-income countries included Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.  Data from U.S. patients were not used for the research.

According to the study authors, hypertension is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease globally and is associated with 13.5 percent of all deaths.

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