Hypertension is an important public health problem in rural China with a rapidly increasing prevalence noted in recent years. This study estimates the prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of hypertension in a rural population in Shandong Province, China.Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted in rural Shandong Province, China, in April 2007 using multistage cluster sampling. A total of 16 364 rural residents aged 25 years and more were interviewed and examined. Two blood pressure (BP) measurements were obtained using a standardized mercury sphygmomanometer after a 5-min seated rest. Information on history of hypertension was obtained using a standard questionnaire. Hypertension was defined as mean systolic BP (SBP) at least 140 mmHg and/or diastolic BP (DBP) at least 90 mmHg, and/or self-reported current use of antihypertensive medication.Results
Overall, 43.8% of the population had hypertension. Among hypertensive patients, only 26.2% were aware of their hypertension, 22.2% were currently undergoing antihypertensive treatment, and 3.9% achieved BP control (<140/90 mmHg). Lack of knowledge about hypertension and the importance of BP control were associated with poor compliance with nonpharmacological and pharmacological treatments.Conclusions
In the study population, the prevalence of hypertension is high, but levels of awareness, treatment and control are unacceptably low. There is an urgent need for comprehensive integrated strategies to improve prevention, detection and treatment of hypertension in rural areas in Shandong Province, China.