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Prevalence of target organ damage in hypertensive subjects attending primary care: C.V.P.C. study (epidemiological cardio-vascular study in primary care)

Athanasia Papazafiropoulou12*, Efstathios Skliros13, Alexios Sotiropoulos12, Christos Papafragos13, Aristofanis Gikas14, Ourania Apostolou12, Hariklia Kaliora13 and Charalambos Tountas1

Author Affiliations

1 Hellenic Association of Research and Continuing Education in Primary Care, Athens, Greece

2 3rd Department of Internal Medicine and Center of Diabetes, General Hospital of Nikaia "Ag. Panteleimon" - Piraeus, Greece

3 Nemea Health Center, Nemea, Korinthia, Greece

4 Department of General Practice, Health Centre of Kalivia, Kalivia-Lagonisi, Athens, Greece

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BMC Family Practice 2011, 12:75  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-12-75

Published: 14 July 2011



Except for the established risk factors, presence of target organ damage has an important role in the treatment of hypertensive subjects. The aim of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of target organ damage in primary care subjects.


This multi-centre, cross-sectional survey of 115 primary care physicians recruited 1095 consecutive subjects with hypertension: 611 men (55.8%); and 484 women (44.2%). A detailed history for the presence of cardiovascular disease and a thorough clinical examination was performed to each subject.


Of the total study population, 44.5% (n = 487) had target organ damage (33.0% had left ventricular hypertrophy, 21.8% increased carotid intima media thickness, 11.0% elevated plasma creatinine levels and 14.6% microalbuminuria). Target organ damage was more prevalent in males than in females (P = 0.05). In addition, males had more often increased carotid intima media thickness than females (P = 0.009). On the contrary, females had more often microalbuminuria (P = 0.06) than males. No differences were observed between the two genders regarding left ventricular hypertrophy (P = 0.35) and elevated plasma creatinine levels (P = 0.21). Logistic regression analysis showed associations between target organ damage and dyslipidemia (P < 0.001), presence of metabolic syndrome (P = 0.005), diabetes (P < 0.001) and coronary artery disease (P < 0.001).


A significant proportion of hypertensive subjects in primary care had documented associated target organ damage, with left ventricular hypertrophy being the most prevalent target organ damage.

Primary care; hypertension; target organ damage; left ventricular hypertrophy