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Prevalence, awareness, and control of hypertension in elderly and very elderly in Poland: results of a cross-sectional representative survey

Zdrojewski, Tomasz; Wizner, Barbara; Więcek, Andrzej; Ślusarczyk, Przemysław; Chudek, Jerzy; Mossakowska, Małgorzata; Bandosz, Piotr; Bobak, Martin; Kozakiewicz, Krystyna; Broda, Grażyna; Wyrzykowski, Bogdan; Grodzicki, Tomasz

doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000000823
ORIGINAL PAPERS: Therapeutic aspects

Objective: The aim of the study was to examine prevalence, awareness, and control of hypertension in elderly and very elderly in Poland.

Methods: The random sample of 4950 study participants aged 65 or more (age range 65–104 years), equally distributed in six age subgroups, and participated in cross-sectional, nationally representative survey PolSenior. During two separate visits, standardized interviews on awareness of hypertension as well as anthropometric measurements, blood pressure (BP) and heart rate readings were obtained. Hypertension was defined according to 2013 European Society of Hypertension/European Society of Cardiology Guidelines.

Results: Mean SBP was highest in men aged 75–79 years (148.3 mmHg) and in women aged 80–84 years (149.9 mmHg), and then steadily decreased, whereas DBP decreased steadily from age 65. Hypertension affected about 80% of septuagenarians. Its prevalence decreased with age to 67% in women and 60% in men aged 90 years or older. In nonagenarians, awareness of hypertension (72% in women and 61% in men) and percentage of treated study participants (64% of women and 54% of men) was the lowest. In contrast, among treated study participants proportion of well controlled (BP < 140/90 mmHg) was the highest in people older than 85 reaching 34% among nonagenarian women and 38% in men.

Conclusions: The results show a reversed trend in prevalence and control of hypertension in people aged 80 years and older when compared with the younger elderly. As awareness and treatment of hypertension decreases with advanced age, it seems reasonable to extend screening programs and antihypertensive initiatives for the elderly and very elderly.

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aDepartment of Preventive Medicine and Education, Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk

bDepartment of Internal Medicine and Gerontology, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow

cDepartment of Nephrology, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice

dInternational Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Warsaw

eDepartment of Pathophysiology, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland

fDepartment of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK

g3rd Department of Cardiology, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice

hDepartment of Epidemiology, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Health Promotion, Institute of Cardiology, Warsaw

iDepartment of Hypertension and Diabetology, Medical University of Gdansk, Poland


Correspondence to Tomasz Zdrojewski, MD, PhD, Department of Preventive Medicine and Education, Medical University of Gdansk, Debinki 7, 80–211 Gdansk, Poland. Tel: +48 58 349 25 38; e-mail:

Abbreviations: BP, blood pressure; CI, confidence interval; CVD, cardiovascular disease; ESC, European Society of Cardiology; ESH, European Society of Hypertension; HSE, Health Survey for England; ISH, isolated systolic hypertension; NHANES, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Received 19 August, 2015

Revised 20 October, 2015

Accepted 13 November, 2015

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