Prevalence and Control of Hypertension in Different Macro-Areas in Italy: Analysis of a Large Database by the General Practice

High Blood Press Cardiovasc Prev. 2016 Dec;23(4):387-393. doi: 10.1007/s40292-016-0173-0. Epub 2016 Oct 8.


Introduction: Limited data are available on the impact of hypertension in the different regions or urban areas in Italy.

Aim: To evaluate hypertension prevalence and control among adult outpatients followed by general practitioners (GPs) in different regions and macro-areas in our Country.

Methods: We retrospectively analysed data extracted in 2013 from the national GP Health Search-CSD database and stratified into three groups, depending on their own regions (North, Center and South). Hypertension prevalence was estimated within the overall population sample of adult individuals, whereas control was assessed in hypertensive outpatients. Hypertension diagnosis was defined according to International Classification of Diseases 9. Clinic blood pressure (BP) levels were measured according to European guidelines. BP control was defined as BP <140/90 mmHg.

Results: Data from 940,806 individuals (52.0 % female) were scrutinized, among whom 363,324 (38.6 %) subjects were residents in the North, 276,643 (29.4 %) in the Center and 300,839 (32.0 %) in the South. Overall hypertension prevalence was higher in North (36.8 %) compared to South (33.8 %) and Center (29.3 %). Controlled BP levels were more frequently registered in the South (66.3 %) compared to Center (60.7 %) and North (55.6 %). In all these areas, prevalence and control of hypertension were higher in female than in male individuals.

Conclusions: The present analysis demonstrates relevant differences in hypertension prevalence and control among different macro-areas and regions in Italy. Such analysis may be useful for promoting strategies aimed at ameliorating hypertension control at local levels.

Keywords: General medicine; Hypertension control; Hypertension prevalence; Italy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • General Practice*
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Outpatients
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antihypertensive Agents