The health of working nurses: Hypertension prevalence, awareness, treatment and control by medication

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Journal Article
Journal of Nursing Management, 2018, 26 (4), pp. 403 - 410
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© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Aims: To investigate hypertension awareness, prevalence and treatment in nurses. Background: Nurses are the largest health workforce group, currently facing an ageing demographic and the risk of chronic disease such as hypertension. Little is known about hypertension in nurses despite the potential impact on work productivity. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was distributed to nurses and midwives via the professional association and nursing directors. Questions were taken from published longitudinal health studies for blood pressure, hypertension and key sociodemographic and health factors. Results: The participants’ (n = 5,041) mean age was 47.99 (SD 11.46) years. The majority knew their blood pressure, more so if they were female, of higher body mass index and aged 45–64 years, but less so if they were smokers. Hypertension prevalence increased with age, peaking at the oldest ages and the majority were treated (anti-hypertensive medication), less so if aged <55 years. Many nurses treated for hypertension had poor blood pressure control, were most often aged 45–54 years and were smokers. Conclusions: Hypertension prevalence is less in nurses than in the general population, however, once diagnosed treatment is not optimized. Implications for Nursing Management: The potential impact of hypertension on older nurses’ work productivity justifies work-based support for risk reduction behaviours.
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