Blood pressure and antihypertensive therapy according to the global cardiovascular risk level in Italy: The CHECK Study

Alessandro Filippi, Manuela Casula, Elena Tragni, Ovidio Brignoli, Claudio Cricelli, Andrea Poli, Alberico Luigi Catapano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Elevated blood pressure (BP) is one of the most important modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. In this study we assessed the excess of cardiovascular risk attributable to high BP and antihypertensive treatment in a sample of Italian patients enrolled by the 'Cholesterol and Health: Education, Control and Knowledge' (CHECK) study. Methods: CHECK is a large, cross-sectional epidemiological study, which randomly enrolled patients aged 40-79 years from 425 Italian General Practices from March 2002 to April 2004. Among 5731 patients enrolled in the study [49.6% men, mean age (standard deviation) 57.7 (10.3) years], 723 (12.6%) had 'optimal' BP, 1496 (26.1%) had 'high normal' BP, and 1942 (33.9%) were hypertensive. Results: According to the European Guidelines stratification of the cardiovascular risk-excess attributable to high BP, 34.7% of the sample had a low added risk and 53.2% had a moderate-to-very high added risk. The pharmacological therapy was prescribed in 22.3, 43.9, 61.4, and 76.9% of the patients with low, moderate, high, and very high added risk, respectively. Conclusion: Overall dietary and drug therapies are under prescribed, as most of the treated patients would require two additional antihypertensive drugs to meet the recommended BP target. This effort could provide significant individual benefit to moderate/high-risk patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)562-568
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • Antihypertensive therapy
  • blood pressure
  • cardiovascular risk
  • epidemiology
  • primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Epidemiology


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