Undiagnosed hypertension and diabetes among the elderly Adults in the Amirkola, North of Iran

    • Social Determinants of Health (SDH) Research Center, Health Research Institute, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran.
    • Nursing Care Research Center, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran.
    • Student Research Committee, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran.

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Background: As populations of elderly grow, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and hypertension increases. These diseases can be asymptomatic for a long time and cause irreversible damages to organs. Therefore the aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of undiagnosed hypertension and diabetes among the elderly in Amirkola. Methods: This is a descriptive/analytical cross-sectional study and a part of the first phase of a cohort study on the health status of the elderly in Amirkola (a city in the North of Iran) which has been conducted on all people aged 60 and over since 2011. The demographic information was collected using a questionnaire, the hypertension was diagnosed by measuring blood pressure in lying down- position and the diabetes was diagnosed by measuring fasting blood glucose level. Results: This study was conducted on 1568 elderly participants including 703 (44.8%) females and 865 (55.2%) males. The overall prevalence of diabetes was 30.6% of which, 23.3% was diagnosed and 7.4% was undiagnosed. Nearly one-fourth (24.1%) of the participants with diabetes were unaware of their disease. Thirty-one percent of the people with undiagnosed diabetes also had undiagnosed hypertension. The overall prevalence of hypertension in this study was 62.8%, including 41.2% diagnosed and 21.5% undiagnosed hypertension. Conclusion: Regarding the results of this study and the high prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes and hypertension in elderly, improving the individual’s general awareness and screening in older adults for timely management are necessary.

Keywords: Diabetes Mellitus; Elderly; Hypertension; Prevalence.