Just two out of five patients being treated for hypertension achieve adequate blood pressure control, research in Open Heart (11 March 2021) has suggested.
In a cross-sectional population-based study, researchers examined data from almost 100,000 UK Biobank participants with diagnosed and treated hypertension (defined as >140/90 mmHg). Of these, blood pressure was controlled in just 38.1% (95% confidence interval 37.8% to 38.4%) of those on treatment.
Factors associated with poor blood pressure control included older age, higher alcohol use, black ethnicity and obesity. Low household income, low educational attainment and manual labour jobs were also associated with poor blood pressure control.
By contrast, comorbidities, such as cardiovascular disease, migraines, diabetes or depression, were associated with tighter blood pressure control; the strongest positive association with control was having three or more comorbidities.
“Having a comorbidity was associated with higher probability of control, possibly due to more frequent interaction with the healthcare system and/or appropriate management of those at greater cardiovascular risk,” the researchers said.
“More research is needed to understand barriers to hypertension control, and the mechanisms underlying the association between [it] and comorbidities not linked with increased [cardiovascular disease] risk,” they concluded.
- 1Tapela N, Collister J, Clifton L, et al. Prevalence and determinants of hypertension control among almost 100 000 treated adults in the UK. Open Heart 2021;8:e001461. doi:10.1136/openhrt-2020-001461