Younger, unmarried men around the world are least likely to be aware of hypertension (high blood pressure) and less likely to be receiving treatment.  Whereas older women, are most aware of hypertension according to data presented today at the World Congress of Cardiology (WCC) Scientific Sessions in Beijing, China.

Interim analysis of ~150,000 participants from 17 countries in the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological Study (PURE) also revealed that awareness rates were similar in urban (57 per cent) and rural areas (54 per cent) in high-income countries.  However, awareness rates were lower in rural areas (45 per cent) of low-income countries compared with urban areas (56 per cent).

Treatment rates, as a percent of all with hypertension, followed a similar pattern with treatment rates in high-income countries being comparable in both urban (48 per cent) and rural (47 per cent).  Again, lower rates of treatment were seen in rural (23 per cent) areas compared with urban (38 per cent) in low-income countries.  Moreover the results revealed that those with lower levels of education, were less likely to be receiving treatment and less likely to have their blood pressure controlled.

Hypertension is a well recognized major determinant of cardiovascular disease internationally, yet, in some groups awareness, treatment and control is poor, said Dr. Clara Chow, assistant professor, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.  The results of this study will hopefully help to identify people that may benefit from more targeted blood pressure screening and education to improve identification and management of their condition.

Awareness, treatment and control of hypertension was examined in population cohorts from urban and rural areas recruited to 41 centers from 17 countries (Canada, Sweden, UAE, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Poland, Turkey, Malaysia, Iran, South Africa, China, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Zimbabwe).  Information on CVD risk factors was collected from approximately 154,000 individuals aged 35 to 70 years.  Hypertension was defined as self-report and/or BP greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg.  Multivariate models including age, gender, marital status, education, region, and location (urban/rural) were used to examine factors associated with awareness, treatment and control.