Prevalence and control of hypertension in the general practice in Italy: updated analysis of a large database

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Abstract

Systematic assessment of blood pressure (BP) control rates may help to improve the clinical management of hypertension in clinical practice. This approach had limited application in Europe over the last three decades and only recently has been implemented in some countries. The present study is aimed at evaluating hypertension prevalence and control among adult outpatients followed by a large, representative sample of general practitioners (GPs) in Italy. We retrospectively analysed the data derived from the GP Health Search-CSD database in 2013. Hypertension prevalence and control were estimated within the overall population sample and in hypertensive outpatients, respectively, according to age and gender. Hypertension diagnosis was defined according to the International Classification of Diseases 9. Clinic BP levels were measured according to the European guidelines. BP control was defined as systolic/diastolic BP < 140/90 mm Hg. Data from 911 753 individuals (52.2% females) were scrutinized. Hypertension was diagnosed in 236 377 (25.9%) patients, being higher in male aged < 70 years than age-matched female. Hypertension control was recorded in 60.6% of hypertensive patients, being higher in female than male individuals aged < 70 years. Our current analysis demonstrates that about 26% of adult outpatients followed in the GP setting had hypertension and that about 61% had controlled BP levels. Both prevalence and control of hypertension appear to be higher when compared with the data reported from the analysis of the same database in 2005, thus confirming a positive trend in BP control in the GP clinical setting in Italy.

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