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Hypertension going undiagnosed in smokers

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Hypertension is diagnosed less often in people who smoke, despite them being at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, latest research suggests.

University College London researchers - who studied more than 20,000 men and women in England – found that only half of hypertensive smokers reported having received a diagnosis of high blood pressure.

The study, which took data from the Health Survey for England in 2003 and 2006, also found that smokers were less likely to be aware that they had hypertension than non-smokers.

Current clinical guidelines recommend prioritising efforts to treat hypertension in people with cardiovascular risk factors, including smoking.

Spotting hypertension is particularly important in smokers because receiving a diagnosis can help motivate people to stop smoking, the researchers said.

Smokers aware of their hypertension were more likely to have received advice from a healthcare professional to stop smoking than those unaware of their condition, and were more likely to have quit, they added online in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation.

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