Sociodemographic disparities in hypertension prevalence: results from the first Portuguese National Health Examination Survey

Translated title of the contribution: Disparidades sociodemográficas da prevalência de hipertensão: resultados do primeiro Portuguese Health Examination Survey

Ana Paula Rodrigues, Vânia Gaio, Irina Kislaya, Sidsel Graff-Iversen, Eugénio Cordeiro, Ana Clara Silva, Sónia Namorado, Marta Barreto, Ana Paula Gil, Liliana Antunes, Ana Santos, José Pereira Miguel, Baltazar Nunes, Carlos Matias Dias

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© 2019 Sociedade Portuguesa de Cardiologia Introduction: Cardiovascular disease is an important cause of death and disability worldwide, and hypertension is responsible for at least 45% of all deaths due to heart disease and 51% of deaths due to stroke. This study aimed to estimate and describe the distribution of prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of hypertension in the Portuguese population in 2015. Methods: A national survey using a representative sample of 4911 individuals residing in Portugal and aged between 25 and 74 years was implemented. Trained nurses performed a health interview and a physical examination, including blood pressure measurement (right arm, three measurements at 1-min intervals). The prevalence of hypertension was stratified by gender, age group, marital status, education, occupation and type of residential area. Associations between hypertension prevalence and sociodemographic factors were assessed using bivariate and multivariate Poisson regression. Results: The overall hypertension prevalence was 36.0%. The highest rates were observed in males (39.6%), in individuals aged between 65 and 74 years (71.3%), and in those with low levels of education (62.6%) and with no formal occupation (64.5%). Among hypertensive individuals, 69.8% were aware of their condition and 69.4% were under treatment, of whom 71.3% were controlled. Rates of awareness and medical treatment were significantly higher among women and older individuals. Conclusions: A large majority of the adult Portuguese population are likely to reach blood pressure levels defined as hypertension in adulthood. Significant differences in hypertension prevalence were found according to gender, age and socioeconomic status, which highlights the importance of population strategies in public health policies.
Original languageMultiple languages
Pages (from-to)547-555
Number of pages9
JournalRevista Portuguesa de Cardiologia
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Awareness
  • Control
  • Hypertension
  • INSEF 2015
  • Portugal

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