Hypertension Awareness and Control in Latin America

OPHS professors Drs Pirkle and Sentell recently published the scientific article, "Socioecological factors associated with hypertension awareness and control among older adults in Brazil and Colombia: Correlational analysis from the International Mobility and Aging Study". This study examines factors across the socioecological model, from the individual to the community, that influence peoples' knowledge and control of high blood pressure, a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease. 

High blood pressure—hypertension—is common among older adults globally and particularly high in Latin America. Their study of 803 older adults (65-74 years), in two large cities in Brazil and Colombia, documented that over 70% of study participations had hypertension. While more than 80% of the older adults in the study were aware that they had hypertension, only between 30 (Brazil) to 50% (Colombia) had their hypertension under control, which is an indicator of good condition management. Individual demographic and health characteristics, as well as community engagement, were linked to hypertension awareness and control. Understanding which factors may influence older adult hypertension awareness and control can improve the design of interventions to improve cardiovascular disease outcomes. 

This article is published by Global Heart, the official journal of the World Heart Federation. It was a collaborative effort by researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and Brown University in the United States, the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil, and the University of Caldas in Colombia. 

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