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Blood pressure awareness in Austria. A 20-year evaluation, 1978–1998

A Schmeiser-Rieder, U Kunze
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/euhj.1999.1912 414-420 First published online: 1 March 2000

Abstract

Aim To evaluate public awareness following a nationwide educational campaign on hypertension.

Methods and Results In 1978 the Austrian Heart Foundation conducted a nationwide educational campaign to increase the awareness of the population regarding the importance of recognizing and treating high blood pressure. Following this campaign, five opinion polls of random and representative samples were conducted to measure the awareness and knowledge of the population relating to issues of high blood pressure. The poll results indicated that during the period immediately following the awareness campaign, knowledge and perception of the dangers of high blood pressure increased. However, this effect dissipated during subsequent years. In 1978, 14% of the population were reported to be hypertensive and 10% had no relevant information about their blood pressure status. In 1998, those who labelled themselves as hypertensive dropped to 12%, while those who did not know their blood pressure values, increased to 14%. The percentage of the population who recalled having their blood pressure measured during the last 3 months dropped from 49% in 1978, to 34% in 1993, and remained at 34% in 1998.

Conclusion We conclude that the intensive blood pressure education campaign had only a temporary effect on improving blood pressure awareness. Improved strategies are needed to achieve better community control of hypertension.

  • Hypertension, epidemiology, public health, health survey