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In France, 30% of adults suffer from arterial hypertension, that is approximately 17 million people. But only one in two hypertensives is aware of their disease regrets Public Health France on the occasion of World Day for the fight against high blood pressure, this May 17.

hypertension arterial (HTA) is the main risk factor for cerebrovascular accident (CVA) and an important risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However, in France, one in three adults suffers from hypertension (i.e. approximately 17 million people), nearly 6 million are hypertensive without knowing it and more than 4 million treated hypertensives do not have controlled blood pressure, emphasizes Public Health France in its latest Weekly Epidemiological Bulletin, published on the occasion of the World Day for the fight against high blood pressure.

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High blood pressure: causes, symptoms, risk factors

“Knowledge, treatment and control of hypertension remain sub-optimal in France and have not seen any recent improvement, with some indicators even having suffered a deterioration” underline the health authorities. “Thus, if more than 1.6 million adults initiate antihypertensive treatment each year, the Covid-19 crisis has had a significant impact with an 11% drop in these initiations in connection with a decrease in the use of care”.

One in two people are unaware of their hypertension

High blood pressure is responsible for over 10 million deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Favored by a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, diabetes and smoking, it is a major risk factor for cardio-neurovascular pathologies: renal failure, heart failure, arterial aneurysm, aortic dissection, arrhythmia, dementia…

Early detection is the first link in care and helps to limit these complications. But the analysis of Public Health France highlights that in France, despite regular blood pressure measurements, only 1 out of 2 hypertensives is aware of their hypertensiona figure that has not changed since 2006!

Hypertension: the key figures

  • 1 in 3 adults suffer from hypertension
  • 1 out of 2 hypertensives is treated
  • 11% of hypertensives are followed by a cardiologist
  • 40% of treated hypertensives (only) follow their treatment
  • 93% of patients have reservations when prescribing antihypertensives
  • 1.6 million French people start treatment each year
  • 22% of untreated hypertension is grade 2 or 3

Patients do not always follow their treatment

Compliance with pharmacological treatments remains low, according to Public Health France, with only 40% of known and treated hypertensives who can be considered as complying, that is to say having at least 80% of the days of the year covered by antihypertensive treatment. “This poor compliance should be compared with the results of a survey of general practitioners. In fact, nearly 30% of general practitioners report that patients frequently express significant reservations when prescribing pharmacological treatments” the researchers point out.

The main reservations put forward by patients when prescribing are the same as those reported to justify taking the treatment irregularly: they do not feel sick, they have no symptoms and they do not want to take a lifelong treatment.

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