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      Factors associated with grade 1 hypertension: implications for hypertension care based on the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) in primary care settings

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          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.

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          Most cited references 53

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          The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure: the JNC 7 report.

          "The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure" provides a new guideline for hypertension prevention and management. The following are the key messages(1) In persons older than 50 years, systolic blood pressure (BP) of more than 140 mm Hg is a much more important cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor than diastolic BP; (2) The risk of CVD, beginning at 115/75 mm Hg, doubles with each increment of 20/10 mm Hg; individuals who are normotensive at 55 years of age have a 90% lifetime risk for developing hypertension; (3) Individuals with a systolic BP of 120 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic BP of 80 to 89 mm Hg should be considered as prehypertensive and require health-promoting lifestyle modifications to prevent CVD; (4) Thiazide-type diuretics should be used in drug treatment for most patients with uncomplicated hypertension, either alone or combined with drugs from other classes. Certain high-risk conditions are compelling indications for the initial use of other antihypertensive drug classes (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin-receptor blockers, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers); (5) Most patients with hypertension will require 2 or more antihypertensive medications to achieve goal BP (<140/90 mm Hg, or <130/80 mm Hg for patients with diabetes or chronic kidney disease); (6) If BP is more than 20/10 mm Hg above goal BP, consideration should be given to initiating therapy with 2 agents, 1 of which usually should be a thiazide-type diuretic; and (7) The most effective therapy prescribed by the most careful clinician will control hypertension only if patients are motivated. Motivation improves when patients have positive experiences with and trust in the clinician. Empathy builds trust and is a potent motivator. Finally, in presenting these guidelines, the committee recognizes that the responsible physician's judgment remains paramount.
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            Appropriate body-mass index for Asian populations and its implications for policy and intervention strategies.

             Michael Gnant (2004)
            A WHO expert consultation addressed the debate about interpretation of recommended body-mass index (BMI) cut-off points for determining overweight and obesity in Asian populations, and considered whether population-specific cut-off points for BMI are necessary. They reviewed scientific evidence that suggests that Asian populations have different associations between BMI, percentage of body fat, and health risks than do European populations. The consultation concluded that the proportion of Asian people with a high risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease is substantial at BMIs lower than the existing WHO cut-off point for overweight (> or =25 kg/m2). However, available data do not necessarily indicate a clear BMI cut-off point for all Asians for overweight or obesity. The cut-off point for observed risk varies from 22 kg/m2 to 25 kg/m2 in different Asian populations; for high risk it varies from 26 kg/m2 to 31 kg/m2. No attempt was made, therefore, to redefine cut-off points for each population separately. The consultation also agreed that the WHO BMI cut-off points should be retained as international classifications. The consultation identified further potential public health action points (23.0, 27.5, 32.5, and 37.5 kg/m2) along the continuum of BMI, and proposed methods by which countries could make decisions about the definitions of increased risk for their population.
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                Author and article information

                [ ]JC School of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories Hong Kong
                [ ]School of Public Health, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, 510080 People’s Republic of China
                [ ]General Practice and Primary Care, Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 9LX UK
                [ ]Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, Hospital Authority, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
                [ ]Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
                BMC Fam Pract
                BMC Fam Pract
                BMC Family Practice
                BioMed Central (London )
                27 February 2015
                27 February 2015
                : 16
                © Wang et al.; licensee BioMed Central. 2015

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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