Factors associated with hypertension and its management among older rural Australians

Juliana M. Betts, Caroline Gao, David Brown, Jillian Ikin, Roshan Maniam, Dion Stub, Michael J. Abramson, Danny Liew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objectives: Hypertension is a leading risk factor for death and disability. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of hypertension in an older rural Australian cohort and identify predictors of hypertension management. Design: Analysis of cross-sectional data collected from participants in a prospective cohort study. Setting: The Victorian rural towns of Morwell and Sale in 2018-2019. Participants: A weighted random sample of 1119 eligible participants from Morwell or Sale, aged ≥55-90 years for men and ≥60-90 years for women, was drawn from the Hazelwood Health Study's Adult Survey cohort. Main outcome measures: Blood pressure, body mass index, left ventricular hypertrophy by electrocardiogram, estimated glomerular filtration rate and glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) were measured. Participants with hypertension were categorised as managed, undermanaged or unmanaged. Results: Testing undertaken of 498 participants estimated the weighted prevalence of hypertension (defined as blood pressure ≥ 140/90 mm Hg, a self-reported doctor diagnosis of hypertension or taking antihypertensive medication) to be 79.9% (95% confidence interval: 75.7-83.4). Of those, 54.5% (49.4-60.0) had managed hypertension (<140/90 mm Hg), 37.1% (32.3-42.1) undermanaged hypertension and 8.4% (5.9-11.9) a new finding of hypertension (unmanaged hypertension). Current employment (relative risk 1.47, 95% confidence interval: 1.06-2.02) and single marital status (relative risk 1.45, 1.4-1.84) were associated with under- or unmanaged hypertension. Compared with no hypertension, the hypertensive groups were more likely to demonstrate markers of end-organ damage such as left ventricular hypertrophy and impaired renal function. Conclusion: Hypertension is a highly prevalent condition among older rural Australians which is suboptimally identified and managed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-407
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • cardiovascular risk factors
  • hypertension
  • management of hypertension
  • public health
  • rural health

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