Detection and control of high blood pressure in the community: Do we need a wake-up call?

Irene Meissner, Jack P. Whisnant, Sheldon G. Sheps, Gary L. Schwartz, W. Michael O'Fallon, Jody L. Covalt, Jo Rean D. Sicks, Kent R. Bailey, David O. Wiebers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


At the community level, the effect of national programs in increasing hypertension awareness, prevention, treatment, and control is unclear. This study evaluated the degree of detection and control of high blood pressure in a random population-based sample of Olmsted County, Minnesota, residents ≥45 years old, of whom 636 subjects among 1245 eligible residents agreed to participate. Home interview and home and office measurements of blood pressure were used to estimate awareness, treatment, and control rates for hypertension in the community. Mean blood pressures (±SD) were 138/80±20/12 mm Hg for men and 137/76±23/11 mm Hg for women. The overall prevalence of hypertension was 53%. The percentage of subjects with treated and controlled hypertension was 16.6%. Thirty-nine percent of subjects were unaware of their hypertension. Despite clinical trial evidence of reduced morbidity and mortality with antihypertensive therapy, recently reported national data suggest a leveling-off trend for treatment and control of hypertension. This population-based study supports these observations and suggests that at a community level, hypertension awareness and blood pressure control rates are suboptimal, presumably because of decreased attention to the detection and control of hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-471
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1999


  • Blood pressure
  • Cerebrovascular disorders
  • Hypertension detection and control
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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