The rising prevalence of self-reported hypertension among Chinese subjects: a population-based study from 121 895 household interviews

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Background: Hypertension is one of the most important public health issues worldwide.

Aim: We assessed the prevalence rates of self-reported hypertension in Hong Kong between 2001 and 2008 and evaluated factors associated with its prevalence.

Design: Serial cross-sectional surveys.

Methods: Territory-wide Household surveys in the Hong Kong population in the years 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2008 were included. Population-adjusted prevalence of self-reported hypertension were compared across calendar years. The independent association of these variables with hypertension was evaluated by multivariate regression analysis with self-reported hypertension as a binary outcome.

Results: There were 121 895 subjects interviewed, among which 103 367 were adults aged ≥15 years. The age- and gender-adjusted prevalence of self-reported hypertension in 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2008 among male adults was 4.73, 6.68, 7.96 and 9.82%, respectively, and among female adults, the prevalence was 6.13, 8.28, 10.00 and 11.58%, respectively. Advanced age (adjusted odds ratios [AOR]: 47.1, 95% CI 33.6–66.0 for the age group 40–65 years; AOR 256.2, 95% CI 182.4–360.0 for the age group 66–100 years; referent 0–39 years), female gender (AOR 0.81, 95% CI 0.74–0.88 for male) and a low median household income (AOR 1.56, 95% CI 1.31–1.85 for income ≤ US$1289; referent ≥ US$6444) were significantly associated with hypertension (all P < 0.001).

Conclusions: This is the first study to show differences between socioeconomic groups in this Chinese population with higher rates among women and the less affluent. Similarly, it is the first to show gender differences with higher rates among women.

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