Prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of hypertension in a general population sample of 26,913 adults in the Greek EPIC study.
International Journal of Epidemiology 2004 ; 33: 1345-52.
DOI : 10.1093/ije/dyh249
PubMed ID : 15218014
Premature mortality from cardiovascular diseases could be prevented by the effective control of hypertension. Nationwide data for the status of hypertension in the adult Greek population are not available.
In the context of the Greek component of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition (EPIC), 26 913 volunteers, aged 20-86 years, were recruited from several regions of Greece. Blood pressure measurements were taken by trained physicians and standard interviewing procedures were used to record medical history, and socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics. The data were modelled through multiple regression.
The prevalence of hypertension (based on two arterial blood pressure measurements on a single occasion) is 40.2% for men and 38.9% for women (age-adjusted to the adult Greek population of 2001). In the sample examined, awareness among hypertensives is 54.4%, pharmaceutical treatment among those aware is 83.9%, and effective control among hypertensives is 15.2%. Prevalence of hypertension increases with age and is higher in rural areas and among individuals of lower education. Awareness and control of hypertension is higher among older individuals, among women and among the highly educated. Moreover, awareness of hypertension is higher among rural residents, whereas control of hypertension is more effective among urban residents.
In a large sample of the general Greek population, the prevalence of hypertension among men is lower than the average among the EU countries, whereas the corresponding prevalence among women is higher. Awareness and control of hypertension is lower in Greece than in other western countries, making them public health priorities.