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Sociodemographic and health-related differences in undiagnosed hypertension in the health survey for England 2015–2019: a cross-sectional cohort study

Campbell, Emma; Macey, Ellie; Shine, Chris; Nafilyan, Vahé; Clark, Nathan Cadogan; Pawelek, Piotr; Ward, Isobel; ... Finning, Katie; + view all (2023) Sociodemographic and health-related differences in undiagnosed hypertension in the health survey for England 2015–2019: a cross-sectional cohort study. eClinicalMedicine , 65 , Article 102275. 10.1016/j.eclinm.2023.102275. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Hypertension is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, yet a substantial proportion of cases are undiagnosed. Understanding the scale of undiagnosed hypertension and identifying groups most at risk is important to inform approaches to detection. // Methods: In this cross-sectional cohort study, we used data from the 2015 to 2019 Health Survey for England, an annual, cross-sectional, nationally representative survey. The survey follows a multi-stage stratified probability sampling design, involving a random sample of primary sampling units based on postcode sectors, followed by a random sample of postal addresses within these units. Within each selected household, all adults (aged ≥16 years) and up to four children, were eligible for participation. For the current study, individuals aged 16 years and over who were not pregnant and had valid blood pressure data were included in the analysis. The primary outcome was undiagnosed hypertension, defined by a measured blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or above but no history of diagnosis. Age-adjusted prevalence of undiagnosed hypertension was estimated across sociodemographic and health-related characteristics, including ethnicity, region, rural-urban classification, relationship status, highest educational qualification, National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification (NS-SEC), Body Mass Index (BMI), self-reported general health, and smoking status. To assess the independent association between undiagnosed hypertension and each characteristic, we fitted a logistic regression model adjusted for sociodemographic factors. // Findings: The sample included 21,476 individuals, of whom 55.8% were female and 89.3% reported a White ethnic background. An estimated 30.7% (95% confidence interval 29.0–32.4) of men with hypertension and 27.6% (26.1–29.1) of women with hypertension were undiagnosed. Younger age, lower BMI, and better self-reported general health were associated with an increased likelihood of hypertension being undiagnosed for men and women. Living in rural areas and in regions outside of London and the East of England were also associated with an increased likelihood of hypertension being undiagnosed for men, as were being married or in a civil partnership and having higher educational qualifications for women. // Interpretation: Hypertension is commonly undiagnosed, and some of the groups that are at the lowest risk of hypertension are the most likely to be undiagnosed. Given the high lifetime risk of hypertension and its strong links with morbidity and mortality, our findings suggest a need for greater awareness of the potential for undiagnosed hypertension, including among those typically considered ‘low risk’. Further research is needed to assess the impact of extending hypertension screening to lower-risk groups. // Funding: None.

Type: Article
Title: Sociodemographic and health-related differences in undiagnosed hypertension in the health survey for England 2015–2019: a cross-sectional cohort study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2023.102275
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2023.102275
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords: Hypertension; High blood pressure; Undiagnosed hypertension; Health inequalities
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10182392
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