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Issue 92 Item 13 ¾’s of Adult Diabetics In United States Have Hypertension

Only one in eight (12 percent) had mean blood pressure below 130/85 mmHg Nearly three-quarters of adult diabetics in the United States have hypertension. Regardless of age, sex, race or ethnic origin, all may benefit from efforts to prevent it.

Investigators at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, say that US control of hypertension is inadequate.

They noted that recent guidelines and clinical trial results had emphasized the importance of controlling blood pressure among diabetics. The investigators used the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988-1994) of the civilian, non-institutionalized population of the US to estimate hypertension prevalence and to examine its treatment and control among adults with diagnosed diabetes.

The survey consisted of an interview and a physical examination in which blood pressure was measured. Participants included 1,507 adults, aged 18 years and over, with self-reported diabetes.

The investigators estimated the participants’ elevated blood pressure (mean 130/85 mmHg or more or use of antihypertensive medication), their awareness (prior diagnosis of hypertension), their use of antihypertensive drugs and their blood pressure control (mean blood pressure below 130/85 mmHg and below 140/90 mmHg).

From these estimations, the investigators concluded that 71 percent of all US adult diabetics had elevated blood pressure. Prevalence rose with age and was high in both sexes as well as among Mexican Americans, non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites.

Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of those with elevated blood pressure were aware of their condition and 57 percent were treated.

However, only one in eight (12 percent) had mean blood pressure below 130/85 mmHg, while 45 percent had mean blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg. Control of blood pressure was least common among older people. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2002;