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The difference in hypertension control between older men and women

Publication: Health Reports 2012:23(4)

Authors: Kathryn Wilkins, Marianne Gee and Norm Campbell

Data: 2007 to 2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey

In Canada, as elsewhere, control of hypertension in older persons who are using antihypertensive medication is more likely in men than in women. The reasons for the observed difference are not known.

Data are from cycle 1 of the 2007 to 2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS). The CCHS includes a comprehensive questionnaire, automated blood pressure (BP) measures, and a variety of biological and anthropometric assessments. Frequencies, means, cross-tabulations and multivariate models were produced to study differences between the sexes in hypertension control in a weighted sample representative of the household population aged 60 to 79.

The prevalence of hypertension was nearly equal among older men (60%) and women (59%), and the percentage of those with hypertension who were receiving pharmaceutical treatment was not statistically different (84% and 89%, respectively). However, despite current treatment, hypertension was uncontrolled in a substantially higher percentage of women (30%) than men (17%). The difference persisted when age, socio-economic status, co-morbidity, category of medication, anthropometry, and other correlates of hypertension were taken into account.

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