The aim of our work was to evaluate the prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of hypertension in a random sample of cardiovascular disease free adults in Greece. A secondary goal is to evaluate the association between hypertension status and adoption of the Mediterranean diet.
The The Attica Study is a cross sectional survey. Based on a multi-stage sampling, 1128 men and 1154 women (>18 years old) were enrolled. The survey included a detailed interview and, among other clinical measurements, status and management of blood pressure levels was recorded. Adoption of the Mediterranean diet was assessed through a special nutrient questionnaire.
The prevalence of hypertension was 38.2% in men and 23.9% in women (P <0.05). The majority of men (65%) and women (38%) were untreated, and of those who were treated, only 15% were adequately controlled. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the adoption of the Mediterranean diet was associated with 26% (odds ratio = 0.74, P = 0.008) lower risk of being hypertensive, and with 36% (odds ratio = 1.36, P = 0.021) higher probabilities of being controlled.
A considerable proportion of the general population is still not well controlled or is unaware of their hypertension. However, adoption of the Mediterranean type of diet seems to reduce population rates and may assist the control of hypertension at population level.
Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos, Christina Chrysohoou, Christos Pitsavos, Christodoulos Stefanadis, University of Athens, Greece