Commenced in January 2007
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Systolic Blood Pressure and Its Determinants: Study in a Population Attending Pharmacies in a Portuguese Coastal City

Authors: M. J. Reis Lima, J. Oliveira, M. Brito, C. Lemos, A. Mascarenhas, E. Teixeira Lemos


Hypertension is a common condition causing cardio and cerebrovascular complications. Portugal has one of the highest mortality rates from stroke and a high prevalence of hypertension. Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) is an important risk factor for cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction and stroke) and premature mortality, particularly in the elderly population. The present study aims to estimate the prevalence of hypertension in a Portuguese population living in a coastal city and to identify some of its determinants (namely gender, age, the body mass index and physical activity frequency). A total of 91 adults who attended three pharmacies of a coastal city in the center of Portugal, between May and August of 2013 were evaluated. Attendants who reported to have diabetes or taking antihypertensive drugs in the 2 previous weeks were excluded from the study. Sociodemographic factors, BMI, habits of exercise and BP were assessed. Hypertension was defined as blood pressure ≥140/90 mmHg. The majority of the studied population was constituted by women (75.8%), with a mean age of 54.2±1.6 years old, married or living in civil union and that had completed secondary school or had higher education (40%). They presented a mean BMI of 26.2±4.76 Kg/m2., and were sedentary. The mean BP was 127.0±17.77mmHg- 74.69 ± 9.53. In this population we found 4.3% of people with hypertension and 16.1% with normal high blood pressure. Men exhibit a tendency to present higher systolic blood pressure values than women. Of all the factors considered, SBP values also tended to be higher with age and higher BMI values. Despite the fact that the mean values of SBP did not present values higher than 140 mmHg we must be concerned because the studied population is undiagnosed for hypertension. Although this is a preliminary study, it might be a prelude to the upcoming research about the underlying factors responsible for the occurrence of SBP.

Keywords: Hypertension, age, exercise, obesity, gender.

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