Hypertension is a cardiovascular disorder rapidly emerging as a major public health problem in developing countries. However, the acknowledgement of the prevalence and the significant impact of hypertension in elderly are very important for health policy. The objective of the present investigation was to evaluate the prevalence, awareness and treatment of hypertension among the elderly living in their home in Tunisia at Monastir City. We also examined the impact of socio-demographic characteristics and known risk factors for high blood pressure.
A community based sample of 598 non-institutionalized elderly (age ≥ 65 years), was selected using probabilistic multistage cluster sampling.
There was a predominance of female (66%) and mean age was 72.3 ± 7.4 years. The prevalence of hypertension was 52% (n = 311), awareness (81%, n = 252), treatment (78.4%, n = 244) and only 30.7% (n = 75) are correctly treated. The prevalence of hypertension was higher for the female population (55.5%) when compared to males (45%). No urban/rural differences were observed and no difference was observed by educational level. Multiple logistic regression analyses identified a higher body mass index, diabetes mellitus and disability as important correlates of the prevalence of hypertension.
These findings provide important information on the prevalence, awareness and control of hypertension in Monastir City and confirm their association with other cardio-vascular risk factors. Effective public health measures and strategies are needed to improve prevention, diagnosis and access to treatment of this elderly population.