Arterial hypertension in france: 1 person in 3 suffers from high blood pressure, but only 1 in 2 of these is aware of their condition

Arterial hypertension is defined as systolic arterial pressure (SAP) equal to or over 140 mmHg and/or diastolic arterial pressure (DAP) equal to or over 90 mmHg. This is the main contributory factor to strokes and a major contributing factor in death from cardiovascular illness.

Currently, 30% of French citizens suffer from arterial hypertensionand half of those affected are unaware of their condition and therefore are not taking any treatments to combat it. These alarming figures are taken from the Etude Esteban (a health study which looks at environmental factors, biosurveillance, physical activity and nutrition). One of the aims of the Esteban study was to estimate the prevalence of arterial hypertension in France, how it is diagnosed and the measures put in place to tackle it – and to study how this had changed between 2015 and the National Nutrition and Health Study (ENNS) of 2006. This study was published on Tuesday April 24th. One area it highlighted is the particularly difficult situation facing many women.. The study has flagged up a significant deterioration in the treatment of women in this field over the last decade or so. Proportionally-speaking, women are less likely to receive treatment than men and their arterial blood pressure is monitored less frequently now than in the past – this can be very dangerous during the menopause, especially because other well-known contributory factors like diabetes, obesity and lack of physical activity may start to become far more widespread at around this time.

Ten years on from the ENNS study, this extremely-detailed piece of research examined a representative sample of the population, laying the basis for a re-assessment of the prevalence of arterial hypertension, how it is diagnosed and how it is treated in France. In stark contrast to the reduction in cases seen in most other countries, in France, the prevalence of arterial hypertension is largely unchanged., Nearly one in three adults is affected by arterial hypertension and women especially are not monitored with sufficient frequency. In this context, it has become critical to continue implementing preventive measures in the areas of physical activity and nutrition, which are the main factors influencing the occurrence or otherwise of arterial hypertension. It is equally important to identify why there has been a drop in the proportion of women suffering from arterial hypertension who are being treated for this condition, with a view to implementing significant improvements in the treatment of this illness.

The findings of the study are all the more worrying since severe arterial hypertension was removed from the French state’s list of conditions requiring long-term care in June 2011. The results of this latest study prove that, as far as women are concerned, greater attention needed to be paid to health monitoring and preventive action

A detailed collection of the relevant data and statistics from the study may be found in the weekly epidemiological newsletter (Santé Publique France’s Bulletin épidémiologique hebdomadaire) published on April 24th 2018.