Some 30% of Israelis who suffer from high blood pressure don't keep up with their medication, a survey conducted by the Millward Brown research company for the Israeli Society for Hypertension has found.
The survey polled 500 men and women over the age of 18, seeking to increase awareness about a common disease in Israel and the importance of treating it.
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Some 15% of the population in Israel suffers from high blood pressure, with a higher incidence among men (22%) than among women (9%). According to the survey, most of the population, even most hypertension sufferers, were aware of the disease and its symptoms. Some 85% of respondents and 93% of those who suffered from hypertension correctly cited 120/80 as normal blood pressure. Awareness among respondents age 50 and up stood at 90%.
Another interesting figure is that most Israelis have checked their blood pressure: 89% of the total population and 96% of Israelis with high blood pressure said they checked their BP at home or at the doctor's. Fifteen percent of the population and 22% of hypertension sufferers had checked their blood pressure in the past month, and some 30% of the total population had had their BP checked in the past six months.
What gets our blood boiling:
Excessive irritation and increased tension are known factors that raise blood pressure, especially among sufferers from hypertension. But what makes Israelis angry? According to the survey, the main causes of irritation were family fights; fights with a partner (69%); traffic jams (61%); followed by workplace conflicts, long lines in the supermarket and the hot weather (50%). Only 27% of respondents said they were upset when the house wasn't clean.
However, the survey presented worrying numbers about the tracking and treatment of high blood pressure. Some 15% of people who suffered from high blood pressure said that they did not take any medication and that 30% of hypertension sufferers had skipped taking one or more of their prescribed medications in the past month. More men (38%) reported skipping medication than women (13%).
Of those who took medication to manage their blood pressure, some 14% had asked their doctors to take them off the treatment. The most common reason for the request was side effects (8%). Another reason was that the patients were feeling better and didn't not see any reason to continue the treatment.
High blood pressure, also known as the "silent killer," is the most common disease among adults. One-quarter of the adult population in Israel suffers from hypertension, which becomes more common with age. Close to 7.6 million people worldwide die each year from complications stemming from high blood pressure.