Prevalence of hypertension in a large cohort of Italian hemodialysis patients: results of a cross-sectional study

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Background:Hypertension is very common among patients receiving hemodialysis; however, little is known about its prevalence and control following the publication of the Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI) recommendations.Methods:This was a multicenter, observational, prospective, cross-sectional study aimed at evaluating the prevalence of hypertension and its awareness in a large sample of hemodialysis patients in Italy, and assessing possible relationships between high blood pressure (BP) values and traditional and nontraditional cardiovascular risk factors. Predialysis hypertension was defined as systolic BP (SBP) / diastolic BP (DBP) ≥140/90 mm Hg, and postdialysis hypertension as SBP/DBP ≥130/80 mm Hg or the use of antihypertensive medications.Results:We collected data for 4,022 patients (men/women 2,478/1,544, mean age 67.14 ± 14.08 years) from 77 dialysis centers. Of these, 2,832 patients (70.3%) were defined as having predialysis hypertension. At logistic regression analysis, diabetes, months on dialysis, serum albumin levels and treatment with erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) were independent factors predicting predialysis hypertension. Antihypertensive agents were used in 57.7% of the patients, leading to adequate BP control in only 40% of them. Factors independently predicting inadequate BP control were diabetes, ESA therapy, high serum cholesterol and higher Kt/V values.Conclusions:Hypertension is highly prevalent in this Italian hemodialysis population; achievement of adequate BP control is inadequate. It is unclear whether this may reflect suboptimal diagnosis or treatment of hypertension or, more likely, the allowance of higher predialysis BP values to try to avoid abrupt BP falls during the dialytic session.

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