Health-related quality of life and awareness of hypertension

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BackgroundIt has been shown that individuals with hypertension have poorer health-related quality of life (HRQoL) than normotensive individuals. However, little is known about the impact of high blood pressure and the awareness to have hypertension on HRQoL.MethodsIn this cross-sectional population-based study, we evaluated 901 cardiovascular risk patients aged 45 to 70 years without serious comorbidities. Hypertension was detected in 497 (55%) of the patients, in whom 137 (28%) had previously undiagnosed hypertension confirmed with home blood pressure measurement. Before the diagnosis of hypertension was made, the patients filled Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) to assess their HRQoL. Glucose homeostasis was assessed with 2 h oral glucose tolerance test.ResultsPatients who were aware of their hypertension had lower scores in physical functioning and general health than patients without hypertension and patients who were unaware of hypertension. There were no differences for mental components of SF-36 between these study groups. The prevalence of obesity and newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes was higher in patients with known hypertension than among other study groups.ConclusionImpaired HRQoL in hypertensive patients might be secondary to the awareness of hypertension, adverse drug effects, newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes or obesity, not high blood pressure per se.

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