27 February 2015
A Reference Framework for Hypertension Care was recently developed by Hong Kong government to emphasise the importance of primary care for subjects with high blood pressure (BP). The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) interventional regime was recommended for patients aged 40–70 years with grade 1 hypertension (having systolic BP of 140-159 mmHg and/or diastolic BP of 90-99 mmHg). This study explored factors associated with grade 1 hypertension among subjects screened in primary care settings.
The study sample consisted of community dwellers (N = 10,693) enrolled in a primary care programme in which participants overall had similar characteristics when compared to the Hong Kong population census. Invitation phone calls were given by trained researchers to a randomly selected subjects (N = 2,673, [50% of total subjects aged 40–70 years]) between January and June 2013. BP and body mass index (BMI) were measured by trained clinical professionals according to a standard protocol. Interviewer-administered survey questionnaires were used to collect self-report information on socio-demographics, family history, and lifestyle characteristics. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to explore factors associated with grade 1 hypertension. Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) were estimated with 95% confidence intervals (CI).
A total of 679 out of 2,673 subjects agreed to participate in the screening and completed the baseline assessment (100% completion rate), among which, 320 subjects (47.1%, [320/679]) were grade 1 hypertensive. Unhealthy diet (aOR = 2.19, 95%CI 1.04-4.62), irregular meals (aOR = 1.47, 95%CI 1.11-1.95), BMI >27.5 kg/m 2 (aOR = 1.87, 95%CI 1.53-2.27), duration of cigarette smoking (aOR = 1.83 per year), increased daily cigarette consumption (aOR = 1.59 per pack [20 cigarettes per pack]), duration of alcohol drinking (aOR = 1.65 per year), and higher frequency of weekly binge drinking (aOR = 1.87 per occasion) were independently associated with grade 1 hypertension. The increase in the number of risk factors combined significantly correlated with higher predicted probability of grade 1 hypertension.
Dietary-intake factors were significantly associated with grade 1 hypertension, echoing the recommendation in the Reference Framework on incorporating dietary-related intervention based on the DASH approach for hypertension care in primary care settings. The association between aggregate risk factors and grade 1 hypertension should also be taken into consideration in long-term preventive strategy.