MULTICENTER STUDY
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Current status and characteristics of hypertension treatment by primary physicians in Korea: data from Korean epidemiology study on hypertension (KEY study).

BACKGROUND: This study was designed to investigate the characteristics, control rate, and factors affecting BP control in hypertensive patients treated by primary physicians in Korea.

METHODS: The study was a multicenter, nationwide, cross-sectional, population-based survey conducted to identify the current status of hypertension treatment in Korean patients. A direct mail survey was sent to a random sample of 800 primary-care clinics across the nation. A total of 529 physicians in 510 clinics agreed to participate in this study (63.8%). Among the recruited 13,452 patients, 13,184 were included in the analysis.

RESULTS: BP was controlled in 6,723 patients (51.0%). However, the control rate was lower in patients with diabetes (21.6%) or chronic kidney disease (CKD) (19.9%). Furthermore, the mean systolic and diastolic BP levels were higher in patients with diabetes and/or CKD. The mean BP level was higher in patients undergoing combination therapy than those undergoing single-drug therapy. Male gender, cardiovascular comorbidities, long duration of hypertension, and unhealthy lifestyle were associated with poor control of hypertension. In multivariate analysis, diabetes (odds ratio: 5.57; 95% confidence interval: 5.05-6.13) and CKD (odds ratio: 3.40; 95% confidence interval: 2.54-4.54) were the most significant independent factors related to poor BP control.

CONCLUSION: BP control is still largely unsatisfactory, especially in patients with diabetes and kidney disease, who could benefit the most from effective BP control. The reasons for poor BP control and high BP levels in those patients need to be investigated to improve BP control in Korea.

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