Public Unaware of Alarming Levels of High Blood Pressure

Public Unaware of Alarming Levels of High Blood Pressure
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Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press (click to view)

Oxford University Press


Study: 50% of Canadians unaware they suffer from hypertension.

A new study published in the American Journal of Hypertension focuses on the “silent” nature of hypertension (high blood pressure) and suggests why the gravity and severity of hypertension is often misunderstood.

In order to detect a general awareness of hypertension, researchers set up mobile clinics at shopping malls, workplaces, hospitals, and community centers in a North American city. The clinics measured 1,097 volunteers’ blood pressure.

Researchers found that 50% of the participants had high blood pressure. An unexpectedly large number of participants (2%) showed hypertensive results that are of a high health risk. Most of these people were not on medical treatment, were unaware of their hypertensive state, and were unwilling to acknowledge the severity of their high blood pressure readings. The researchers concluded that the reasons for resistance included ignorance of health consequences of hypertension and being unaware of how to manage hypertension properly.

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“What is particularly significant about this study is that a surprisingly large number of participants exhibited some type of hypertensive urgency or emergency,” said Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research at St. Boniface Hospital in Canada, “Many of the participants were either unaware of their condition or simply not adherent to their medications. Based on these findings, we determined that a mobile hypertension clinic provides a valuable platform for identifying hypertension in the general public, as well as insight into the management of this condition.”

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