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Open Access Research article

Prevalence and determinants of controlled hypertension in a German population cohort

Neeltje van den Berg1*, Claudia Meinke-Franze1, Thomas Fiss2, Sebastian E Baumeister1 and Wolfgang Hoffmann1

Author Affiliations

1 University Medicine Greifswald, Institute for Community Medicine Ellernholzstrasse 1-2, 17487, Greifswald, Germany

2 German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, site Rostock/Greifswald, Ellernholzstrasse 1-2, 17487, Greifswald, Germany

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:594  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-594

Published: 19 June 2013



Data of the German population-based cohort SHIP (Study of Health in Pomerania) were analysed to examine treatment rates, antihypertensive substances prescribed, and the proportion of hypertensive study participants reaching target values for blood pressure as well as determinants.


The study population was defined using baseline data of the cohort (collected between 1997 and 2001). Participants with blood pressure values ≥140/90 mmHg and/or antihypertensive medication with known hypertension and participants with risk-comorbidity (diabetes, stroke, angina pectoris, and/or myocardial infarction) and blood pressure values ≥130/80 mmHg were included. The analysis of treatment and target values was based on the 5-year follow-up of the cohort (collected between 2002 and 2006). Logistic regression was used to identify determinants for a normotensive blood pressure.


3278 SHIP-participants with hypertensive blood pressure values were included (mean age: 55.5 years; SD 13.6, range 21–80 years). The raw hypertension prevalence was 50.9% (N = 1761). 58.7% (N = 1074) of all hypertensive patients reported some form of antihypertensive treatment. Thereof 65.1% (N = 728) received combination therapy. Of the patients without risk-comorbidity, 42.1% (N = 489) reached their target blood pressure values at the time of the 5-year follow-up of the cohort. Of the patients with any risk-comorbidity this proportion was only 21.7% (N = 131). Significant determinants for reaching the target values were being female and having antihypertensive combination therapy. Increasing age, having risk-comorbidities, and obesity were negatively associated with reaching the target values.


Both the proportion of participants receiving therapy and the number of participants reaching their target blood pressure values are very low. Combination therapy is associated with better blood pressure control as compared to mono therapy. However, even in the subgroup of hypertensive patients under combination therapy only 36% (both patients with and without comorbidity) reach target values.

Hypertension; Antihypertensive treatment; Determinants of normotensive blood pressure; Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP)