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Open Access Research article

Awareness, treatment and control of hypertension among the elderly living in their home in Tunisia

Sonia Hammami12*, Sounira Mehri1, Said Hajem3, Nadia Koubaa1, Mohamed A Frih14, Samy Kammoun5, Mohamed Hammami1 and Fathi Betbout16

Author affiliations

1 Laboratory of Nutrition and Vascular Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Monastir, Tunisia

2 Internal Medicine Department, University Hospital "F. Bourguiba" Monastir, Tunisia

3 National Institute of Public Health Tunis, Tunisia

4 Nephrology Department, University Hospital "F. Bourguiba" Monastir, Tunisia

5 Pneumology Department, Geriatric unit, University Hospital H Chaker Sfax, Tunisia

6 Cardiology Department, University Hospital "F. Bourguiba" Monastir, Tunisia

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Citation and License

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2011, 11:65  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-11-65

Published: 1 November 2011

Abstract

Background

Hypertension is a cardiovascular disorder rapidly emerging as a major public health problem in developing countries. However, the acknowledgement of the prevalence and the significant impact of hypertension in elderly are very important for health policy. The objective of the present investigation was to evaluate the prevalence, awareness and treatment of hypertension among the elderly living in their home in Tunisia at Monastir City. We also examined the impact of socio-demographic characteristics and known risk factors for high blood pressure.

Methods

A community based sample of 598 non-institutionalized elderly (age ≥ 65 years), was selected using probabilistic multistage cluster sampling.

Results

There was a predominance of female (66%) and mean age was 72.3 ± 7.4 years. The prevalence of hypertension was 52% (n = 311), awareness (81%, n = 252), treatment (78.4%, n = 244) and only 30.7% (n = 75) are correctly treated. The prevalence of hypertension was higher for the female population (55.5%) when compared to males (45%). No urban/rural differences were observed and no difference was observed by educational level. Multiple logistic regression analyses identified a higher body mass index, diabetes mellitus and disability as important correlates of the prevalence of hypertension.

Conclusion

These findings provide important information on the prevalence, awareness and control of hypertension in Monastir City and confirm their association with other cardio-vascular risk factors. Effective public health measures and strategies are needed to improve prevention, diagnosis and access to treatment of this elderly population.

Keywords:
Hypertension; Elderly; Prevalence; Awareness; Tunisia; Home living