Volume 55, Issue 6 (1 1997)                   Tehran Univ Med J 1997, 55(6): 86-93 | Back to browse issues page

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Abstract:   (7167 Views)
Hypertension is one of the most important modifiable risk factors of vascular heart disease. Control of hypertension in different age groups has a significant effect upon the control and prevention of vascular heart disease. A familial pattern is observed in the distribution of blood pressure in different societies. Family history of hypertension has a profound effect on the future risk of developing hypertension. The blood pressure of approximately 8150 inhabitants of Isfahan aged above 18 years was measured during 1993-94. Blood pressure measurements were performed according to the standards set by WHO i.e., on two separate occasions, in the sitting position, and from both arms. A questionnaire was completed consisting of 26 questions, including questions regarding history of hypertension in first and second-degree relatives. Cases with a blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or more, were referred to the Cardiovascular Research Center of Isfahan for further evaluation. Mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure was higher in cases with a positive family history of hypertension. In this study, 37.4% of the men with hypertension and 45.4% of hypertensive women had positive history of hypertension in first-degree relatives. The association between positive family history and hypertension was not significant in men (P=0.62), but it was significant in women (P=0.000). This difference was less pronounced in the older age groups, which could be explained by the illiteracy of most of the older cases and their ignorance of the existence of hypertension in family members. After correcting for the effects of confounding factors, it appears that positive family history has a stronger association with the development of hypertension in women. Moreover, positive family history is a strong prognostic factor in the likelihood of hypertension in the children of affected cases. These findings emphasize the importance of routine blood pressure measurement in children and adolescents.
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