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Multicenter Study
. 2017 May;39(9):919-927.
doi: 10.3109/09638288.2016.1172349. Epub 2016 May 9.

Prevalence of Hypertension and Associated Risk Factors in People With Long-Term Spinal Cord Injury Living in the Netherlands

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Multicenter Study

Prevalence of Hypertension and Associated Risk Factors in People With Long-Term Spinal Cord Injury Living in the Netherlands

Jacinthe J E Adriaansen et al. Disabil Rehabil. .

Abstract

Purpose: To describe the prevalence of hypertension and associated risk factors in people with long-term spinal cord injury (SCI) and to compare the prevalence of high blood pressure and/or the use of antihypertensive drugs with the prevalence in the Dutch general population.

Method: Multicentre cross-sectional study (N = 282). Hypertension was defined as a systolic blood pressure (SBP) of ≥140 mmHg and/or a diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of ≥90 mmHg after ≥2 blood pressure measurements during ≥2 doctor visits. High blood pressure was defined as a single measurement of a SBP of ≥140 mmHg and/or a DBP of ≥90 mmHg.

Results: The prevalence of hypertension was 21.5%. Significant predictors were: lesion level below C8 (T1-T6: OR =6.4, T7-L5: OR =10.1), history of hypercholesterolemia (OR =4.8), longer time since injury (OR =1.1), higher age (OR =1.1). The prevalence of high blood pressure and/or the use of antihypertensive drugs was higher in men (T1-T6 lesion: 48%; T7-L5 lesion: 57%) and women (T1-T6 lesion: 48%; T7-L5 lesion: 25%) with a SCI below C8 compared to Dutch able-bodied men (31%) and women (18%).

Conclusion: High blood pressure is common in people with SCI. Screening for hypertension during annual checkups is recommended, especially in those with a SCI below C8. Implications for Rehabilitation High blood pressure is common in people with long-term SCI living in the Netherlands and its prevalence is higher in both men and women with a spinal cord lesion level below C8 compared with the age-matched Dutch general population. It is recommended to screen for hypertension during annual checkups in people with SCI, especially in those with a higher risk of developing hypertension, e.g. those with a spinal cord lesion level below C8 and an age of ≥45 years or a time since injury of ≥20 years. When a high blood pressure is measured in people with SCI, they should receive a further assessment of the blood pressure according to the available guidelines for the general population, including ambulatory 24 h-blood pressure monitoring.

Keywords: Blood pressure; cardiovascular disease; long-term care; spinal cord injuries.

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