Perspectives on hypertension's prevalence, treatment and control in a high cardiovascular risk East European country: data from the SEPHAR III survey

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Objectives:To estimate the trend in arterial hypertension's prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control in Romania, starting from the latest national survey Study for the Evaluation of Prevalence of Hypertension and Cardiovascular Risk in Romania III that has a crucial importance for the development of prevention strategies at national level.Methods:A representative sample of 1970 Romanian adults (mean age 48.38 years, age range 18–80 years, 52.5% women, 72.58% response rate), was enrolled. During the two study visits, three blood pressure (BP) measurements were performed at 1-min interval. Hypertension was defined as study SBP at least 140 mmHg and/or study DBP at least 90 mmHg at both study visits or previously diagnosed hypertension, regardless of BP values. BP control was defined as SBP less than 140 mmHg and DBP less than 90 mmHg in hypertensive patients.Results:General hypertension prevalence is 45.1% (19.1% newly diagnosed hypertension, 80.9% awareness of hypertension), increasing with age, regardless of sex and area of residence. Although the majority (72.2%) of hypertensive patients were treated (51.9% with two or more drugs), only 30.8% of them had controlled BP values. Following the evolution from the last 11 years, it is expected that in 2020 the prevalence of hypertension to be up to 44%, the awareness up to 96.2%, treatment of hypertension up to 83.7%, and BP control up to 36.6%.Conclusion:Hypertension's prevalence in Romania is on the rise despite the increase in awareness, treatment, and control. Possible explanations of this trend might be the increasing incidence of unhealthy lifestyle and diet, including high salt intake, and a general increase in the prevalence of obesity, diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia.

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