Prevalence and risk factors associated with prehypertension: Identification of foci for primary prevention of hypertension

Wing Hung Janet SIT, Sijian LI, Man Yee Emmy WONG, Yanling ZHENG, Ziping WU, Jianqiang JIN, Yanling CHEN, Kwok Shing Thomas WONG

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Background and Research Objective: Prehypertension (pre-HT) has become an important public health issue in China because it identifies people at higher risk for hypertension (HT) and cardiovascular diseases. The aims of this study were to (1) examine the prevalence of pre-HT, (2) identify risk factors of pre-HT, and (3) identify factors that increase the likelihood of developing HT among the pre-HT group. Subject and Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study. Community-dwelling residents of an urban district in Wuhan, central China (obtained from stratified random sampling), aged between 35 and 74 years completed the study. Data were collected by using a structured self-reporting questionnaire and a standardized protocol for blood pressure measurement and risk screening. Blood pressure categories were defined according to the results of the seventh report of the Joint National Committee on the Prevention, Detection and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. Results: Among the 1,448 participants, 618 (42.7%) had pre-HT. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed the risk factors of being overweight (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.93; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.26-2.98) or obese (aOR, 8.9; 95% CI, 1.14-62.3) and having above-optimal triglyceride level (aOR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.24-2.26) were associated with pre-HT. Age and lower educational level were also associated with pre-HT risk. There was a clear trend toward an increased risk of HT among the pre-HT group with every 10-year increment in age starting from 45 years (aORs were 3.47, 6.82, and 7.58, respectively). Participants with Pre-HT currently engaging in sedentary work were also found to have a higher risk of developing HT. Other risk factors for HT included being overweight (aOR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.50-2.68), a known family history of HT (aOR, 2.54; 95% CI, 1.98-3.26), and presence of diabetes mellitus (aOR, 2.51; 95% CI, 1.66-3.80). Conclusion: Prehypertension is common among residents in an urban district in central China. Findings of this study serve to identify the at-risk groups. Targeting these people early with therapeutic lifestyle changes may provide important long-term benefit for HT prevention. Copyright © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-469
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


Primary Prevention
Odds Ratio
Confidence Intervals
Blood Pressure
Independent Living
Life Style
Diabetes Mellitus
Cardiovascular Diseases
Public Health
Cross-Sectional Studies
Logistic Models
Regression Analysis


Sit, J. W. H., Li, S., Wong, E. M. Y., Zheng, Y., Wu, Z., Jin, J., et al. (2010). Prevalence and risk factors associated with prehypertension: Identification of foci for primary prevention of hypertension. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 25(6), 461-469.


  • Risk factors
  • Prevention
  • Prevalence
  • Community assessment
  • Prehypertension
  • Hypertension