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Blood pressure level (Indicator 11)

Published


The indicator describes the following: Mean systolic blood pressure among adults.


This indicator is part of Target (6): A 25 per cent relative reduction in the prevalence of raised blood
pressure (or contain the prevalence of raised blood pressure, according to national circumstances). 

To determine blood pressure levels and their distribution throughout the population, blood pressure measurement must be carried out via population studies.  This is done in the Health Surveys in Tromsø and Nord-Trøndelag.

Results

Blood pressure levels have been falling in all age groups since the mid 1990s. This is shown in results from the Tromsø Study and the Health Survey in Nord Trøndelag (HUNT). 

Mean syst bp Tromso men NCD.jpg

Figure 1: Mean systolic blood pressure in 10-year age groups of men, mm Hg. Source: Tromsø Study. See Table 1 below. 

Mean syst bp Tromso women NCD.jpg

Figure 2: Mean systolic blood pressure in 10-year age groups of women, mm Hg. Source: Tromsø Study. See Table 2 below.  

Mean syst bp NT men NCD.jpg

Figure 3: Mean systolic blood pressure in 10-year age groups of men, mm Hg. Source: Health Survey in Nord Trøndelag (HUNT).  

Mean syst bp NT women NCD.jpg

Figure 4: Mean systolic blood pressure in 10-year age groups of women, mm Hg. Source: Health Survey in Nord Trøndelag (HUNT).

Tables accompanying the figures

 

2007–08

2015–16

Ages 30–39

128

 

Ages 40–49

129

127

Ages 50–59

135

131

Ages 60–69

142

136

Ages 70–79

147

140

Ages >=80

153

144

Table 1: Mean systolic blood pressure in 10-year age groups of men, mm Hg. Source: Tromsø Study.

 

 

2007–08

2015–16

Ages 30–39

113

 

Ages 40–49

118

117

Ages 50–59

128

123

Ages 60–69

142

133

Ages 70–79

153

144

Ages >=80

160

152

Table 2: Mean systolic blood pressure in 10-year age groups of women, mm Hg. Source: Tromsø Study. 

 

 

1984–86

1995–97

2006–08

Ages 20–29

131

133

126

Ages 30–39

131

133

128

Ages 40–49

134

135

129

Ages 50–59

141

141

134

Ages 60–69

150

149

139

Ages 70–79

157

153

141

80+ years

157

156

141

Table 3: Mean systolic blood pressure in 10-year age groups of men, mm Hg. Source: Health Survey in Nord Trøndelag (HUNT). 

 

1984–86

1995–97

2006–08

Ages 20–29

118

121

115

Ages 30–39

121

121

117

Ages 40–49

128

128

121

Ages 50–59

140

138

129

Ages 60–69

154

150

137

Ages 70–79

163

160

142

80+ years

165

165

146

Table 4: Mean systolic blood pressure in 10-year age groups of women, mm Hg. Source: Health Survey in Nord Trøndelag (HUNT). 

Data sources

The data sources for this indicator are the Tromsø Study and HUNT

A description and definitions follow below.

Data source: Tromsø Study

Description  

The Tromsø Study started in 1974 and consists of repeated health checks on Tromsø municipality’s population. The last two studies are particularly relevant to the period WHO would like Member States to report on: 2010-2025. Tromsø 6 (2007-2008) included almost 13 000 adults between the ages of 30 and 87, and had an attendance rate of 63 per cent. Tromsø 7 (2015-2016) included more than 21 000 adults aged 40 and older, and had an attendance rate of 65 per cent.

Effect measure 

  • Mean measured systolic blood pressure for 10-year age groups of women and men, in mm Hg.

Interpretation and sources of error 

The higher age groups contain many individuals who use antihypertensive drugs. This is one of the contributing factors to lowering blood pressure levels among the population. 

To make observations about blood pressure trends within the population, irrespective of antihypertensive treatment, we can look at blood pressure levels in the youngest age groups, in which few individuals use antihypertensive drugs.

The proportion of individuals attending health checks has gradually declined over time. The figures and tables we present do not include any assessment of the implications of changes in the attendance rate.

Data source: HUNT

Description  

The Health Survey in Nord Trøndelag (HUNT) began with HUNT1 in 1984-86 and consists of repeated health checks performed on the population of Nord Trøndelag county. The last two studies are particularly relevant to the period WHO would like Member States to report on: 2010-2025. HUNT2 (1995-97) covered over 65 000 individuals aged 20 and older and had an attendance rate of 70 per cent. HUNT3 (2006-08) covered over 51 000 individuals aged 20 and older and had an attendance rate of 54 per cent. HUNT4 is being conducted between 2017 and 2019 and will contribute new data.

Effect measure 

  • Mean measured systolic blood pressure for 10-year age groups of women and men, in mm Hg. 

Interpretation and sources of error

The higher age groups contain many individuals who use antihypertensive drugs. This is one of the contributing factors to lowering blood pressure levels in the population.

The blood pressure level among the younger age groups, within which few individuals use antihypertensive drugs, may give the impression that the blood pressure level is not affected by the use of medication.

Global indicator definition

WHO’s definition of the indicator

Indicator 11. Age-standardised mean systolic blood pressure in persons aged 18+ years. 

National adaptation 

The national data are shown in gender and age groups instead of age-standardised figures. 

Authors and contacts

Article text is compiled by the Tromsø Study at the University of Tromsø, the Health Survey in Nord Trøndelag (HUNT)at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and the Department of Non-communicable Diseases at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. 

Mean syst bp NT women NCD.jpg