The prevalence of hypertension in urban whites.S Afr Med J. 1980 Jun 21; 57(25):1025-30.SA
In a random house-to-house study of 1006 Whites the prevalence of primary hypertension according to World Health Organization criteria was 22,76% (25,6% of males, 20% of females). This is lower than the prevalence in our study of urban Zulus and higher than that in our study of urban Indians. The study also revealed that the prevalence of hypertension was higher than in Whites in the USA. The prevalence in males aged under 40 years was twice that in females of the same age. Blood pressure rose with age, and there was a greater rise in systolic than in diastolic blood pressure. The rise was more marked in males over the age of 40 years and in females over the age of 60 years. Mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures were higher in the male urban Whites than in males in our Zulu and Indian studies and lower than in females in our Zulu and Indian studies. The high prevalence of diastolic blood pressures of 105 mmHg or more, together with the high prevalence of hypertension in White male subjects aged under 40 years, could be an important factor in the aetiology of ischaemic heart disease in White males in the 25-34-year age greup. In our White study only 23% of the hypertensive subjects were on therapy. More effective screening and therapeutic programmes should therefore be initiated in the White population because of the high prevalence of hypertension which may lead to complications.