Prevalence, correlates, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in a middle-aged urban population in Kerala

Manu G. Zachariah, K. R. Thankappan, Shiney C. Alex, P. S. Sarma, R. S. Vasan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Background: Hypertension is an important cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Methods and Results: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 314 middle-aged subjects (163 men: age range 40-60 years, mean 49 years) in urban Thiruvananthapuram City, Kerala, to estimate the prevalence of hypertension, examine its correlates, and assess the degree of awareness, treatment, and control of high blood pressure. Blood pressure was measured by a nurse graduate using a mercury column sphygmomanometer and a standardized technique. We used multivariable analyses to examine the sociodemographic and clinical correlates of hypertension. The overall prevalence of hypertension in our sample was 54.5% (men 56.3%, women 52.3%). The factors associated with an increased prevalence of hypertension were higher body-mass index (odds ratio for a value in the top tertile of 2.33, 95% confidence interval: 1.2-4.4), and older age (odds ratio for the age group 55-60 years of 2.65, 95% confidence interval: 1.3-5.6). An occupation involving moderate or greater physical activity was inversely associated with the prevalence of hypertension (odds ratio 0.35, 95% confidence interval 0.13-0.94). Among hypertensives, 39% were aware of the condition, while 29% were treated with blood pressure-lowering medications. Adequate control of elevated blood pressure was achieved in only 30.6% of treated hypertensives. In our community-based sample, over half of all middle-aged individuals were hypertensive, but less than a third were under treatment. Adequate control of hypertension was achieved in less than a third of the treated individuals. Conclusions: These observations re-emphasize the need for hypertension awareness programs targeting the general public and the increased use of opportunistic blood pressure screening, and underscore the importance of measures to increase the knowledge of current guidelines for the detection and treatment of hypertension among healthcare providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalIndian Heart Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • Hypertension
  • Prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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