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Introduction: High blood pressure (HBP) is the main cardiovascular risk factor, it is more prevalent in the older adult population, and the prevalence can vary between ethnic groups.

Objective: To estimate the prevalence of HBP, knowledge, treatment and control in population aged ≥60 years, resident in Colombia, according to their ethnic condition.

Methods: Population sample selected by multistage sampling. Ethnicity was defined based on skin color. HBP was defined as systolic blood pressure ≥140, and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mm Hg, and/or the participants’ self-report. Controlled HBP at a blood pressure value <140/90, knowledge and treatment were identified by self-report.

Results: 23,694 adults aged ≥ 60 years were included, of which 54.5%, 34.5% and 10.9% were respectively identified as having light, medium or dark skin color; 54.5% were women, and 78.1% resided in urban areas. The standardized prevalence of HBP, by age, was 57.7% (95% CI: 55.2 - 60.2); 51.4% (95% CI: 47.3-55. 5), in men; and 62.9% (60.964.9), in women. The standardized prevalence for light, medium and dark skin in men was 53.2% (95% CI: 48.7-57.7), 49.6% (44.5-54.7), and 49.4% (95% CI: 41.0-57.8) respectively; and in women was 62.5% (95% CI: 60.5-64 , 5), 61.7% (95% CI: 57.865.6), and 69.9% (95% CI: 63.6-76.2) respectively. 98% of the population received treatment, and 93.9% were aware of HBP diagnosis. 42.5% of men and 55.5% of women with HBP were under control. Only 21.8% performed regular physical activity.

Conclusion: Half of the adult population aged over 60 years suffers from HBP; the prevalence is higher in women particularly in dark-skinned women. It is necessary to develop policies to increase physical activity in the elderly.

Lena Barrera, Universidad del Valle. Cali, Colombia


Jairo Corchuelo Ojeda, Universidad del Valle. Cali, Colombia


Fabián Méndez, Universidad del Valle. Cali, Colombia


Barrera, L., Gómez, F., Ortega Lenis, D., Corchuelo Ojeda, J., & Méndez, F. (2019). Prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of high blood pressure in the elderly according to the ethnic group. Colombian survey. Colombia Medica, 50(2), 115–127.


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