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      The Prevalence and Awareness of Hypertension and the Relationship between Hypertension and Snoring in the Korean Population

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          Hypertension is the most important, and yet modifiable, risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. But in many countries, hypertension remains poorly controlled. Moreover, sleep apnea syndrome has shown that it is correlated with hypertension. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence, awareness and control of hypertension among the Korean people and to evaluate the relationship between hypertension and snoring.


          A total of 640 subjects living in Ansan, a regional city in Korea, were selected randomly, and trained nursing students investigated their age, sex, medical history, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI) and snoring score. Blood pressures were measured three times with a 10-minute interval and then averaged. The degree of snoring was estimated using a questionnaire. We divided the subjects into hypertensive (BP≥140/90 mmHg) versus normotensive group and snorer versus non-snorer group, and correlated hypertension with snoring.


          Of 640 subjects, 311 were male. The mean age was 39.7 ± 14.6 years (18–77 years), the mean BMI (body mass index) was 22.4 ± 3.0 kg/m 2. The mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure was 121 ± 15.7 mmHg and 79.5 ± 11.6 mmHg. The prevalence and awareness of hypertension were 22.2% and 16.9%, respectively, and the prevalence of snoring was 35.2%. With the increment of age, in the male, the prevalence of hypertension and snoring were higher, and the snorer group showed a higher risk of hypertension than the non-snorer group (Odds ratio 2.32, CI=1.56–3.39, p = 0.0001).


          In Korea, the prevalence of hypertension was similar to that in the western countries, but the awareness of hypertension was much lower compared with western countries. The prevalence of hypertension was higher in the snorer group, so more research on the correlation between the two conditions should be advanced in the future.

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          Most cited references 32

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          Blood pressure and end-stage renal disease in men.

          End-stage renal disease in the United States creates a large burden for both individuals and society as a whole. Efforts to prevent the condition require an understanding of modifiable risk factors. We assessed the development of end-stage renal disease through 1990 in 332,544 men, 35 to 57 years of age, who were screened between 1973 and 1975 for entry into the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT). We used data from the national registry for treated end-stage renal disease of the Health Care Financing Administration and from records on death from renal disease from the National Death Index and the Social Security Administration. During an average of 16 years of follow-up, 814 subjects either died of end-stage renal disease or were treated for that condition (15.6 cases per 100,000 person-years of observation). A strong, graded relation between both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and end-stage renal disease was identified, independent of associations between the disease and age, race, income, use of medication for diabetes mellitus, history of myocardial infarction, serum cholesterol concentration, and cigarette smoking. As compared with men with an optimal level of blood pressure (systolic pressure or = 210 mm Hg or diastolic pressure > or = 120 mm Hg) was 22.1 (P < 0.001). These relations were not due to end-stage renal disease that occurred soon after screening and, in the 12,866 screened men who entered the MRFIT study, were not changed by taking into account the base-line serum creatinine concentration and urinary protein excretion. The estimated risk of end-stage renal disease associated with elevations of systolic pressure was greater than that linked with elevations of diastolic pressure when both variables were considered together. Elevations of blood pressure are a strong independent risk factor for end-stage renal disease; interventions to prevent the disease need to emphasize the prevention and control of both high-normal and high blood pressure.
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            Trends in the prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in the adult US population. Data from the health examination surveys, 1960 to 1991.

            The objective of this study was to describe secular trends in the distribution of blood pressure and prevalence of hypertension in US adults and changes in rates of awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension. The study design comprised nationally representative cross-sectional surveys with both an in-person interview and a medical examination that included blood pressure measurement. Between 6530 and 13,645 adults, aged 18 through 74 years, were examined in each of four separate national surveys during 1960-1962, 1971-1974, 1976-1980, and 1988-1991. Protocols for blood pressure measurement varied significantly across the surveys and are presented in detail. Between the first (1971-1974) and second (1976-1980) National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES I and NHANES II, respectively), age-adjusted prevalence of hypertension at > or = 160/95 mm Hg remained stable at approximately 20%. In NHANES III (1988-1991), it was 14.2%. Age-adjusted prevalence at > or = 140/90 mm Hg peaked at 36.3% in NHANES I and declined to 20.4% in NHANES III. Age-specific prevalence rates have decreased for every age-sex-race subgroup except for black men aged 50 and older. Age-adjusted mean systolic pressures declined progressively from 131 mm Hg at the NHANES I examination to 119 mm Hg at the NHANES III examination. The mean systolic and diastolic pressures of every sex-race subgroup declined between NHANES II and III (3 to 6 mm Hg systolic, 6 to 9 mm Hg diastolic). During the interval between NHANES II and III, the threshold for defining hypertension was changed from 160/95 to 140/90 mm Hg.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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              Daytime sleepiness, snoring, and obstructive sleep apnea. The Epworth Sleepiness Scale.

               W. Johns (1992)
              The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) is a simple questionnaire measuring the general level of daytime sleepiness, called here the average sleep propensity. This is a measure of the probability of falling asleep in a variety of situations. The conceptual basis of the ESS involves a four-process model of sleep and wakefulness. The sleep propensity at any particular time is a function of the ratio of the total sleep drive to the total wake drive with which it competes. ESS scores significantly distinguished patients with primary snoring from those with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), and ESS scores increased with the severity of OSAS. Multiple regression analysis showed that ESS scores were more closely related to the frequency of apneas than to the degree of hypoxemia in OSAS. ESS scores give a useful measure of average sleep propensity, comparable to the results of all-day tests such as the multiple sleep latency test.

                Author and article information

                Korean J Intern Med
                Korean J. Intern. Med
                The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine
                Korean Association of Internal Medicine
                June 2001
                : 16
                : 2
                : 62-68
                Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea
                Author notes
                Address reprint requests to : Woo Hyuk Song, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Kojan-dong 516, Ansan, Kyoungki-do, Korea
                Copyright © 2001 The Korean Association of Internal Medicine

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Article

                Internal medicine

                snoring, awareness, prevalence, hypertension


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