Annual surveys show progressive improvements in the management of blood pressure in the general population in England, which will correlate with reduction in major cardiovascular events, according to research published in an issue of The Lancet.

Emanuela Falaschetti, of the Imperial College London, and colleagues conducted a serial cross-sectional study of five Health Survey for England surveys of adults aged 16 years or older to assess changes in blood pressure management between 1994 and 2011.

The researchers found progressive improvements in the mean blood pressures of men and women in the general population, as well as for patients with hypertension. Among patients with treated hypertension, mean blood pressure was reduced from 150.0 (standard error [SE], 0.59)/80.2 (SE, 0.27) mm Hg to 135.4 (SE, 0.58)/73.5 (SE, 0.41) mm Hg.

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During the study period, prevalence of control of blood pressure among treated patients increased from 33 percent (SE, 1.4 percent) in 1994 to 63 percent (SE, 1.7 percent) in 2011. However, in 2011, hypertension was controlled in only 37 percent of adults with survey-defined hypertension.

“If the same systematic improvement in all aspects of hypertension management continues until 2022, 80 percent of patients with treated hypertension will have controlled blood pressure levels with a potential annual saving of about 50,000 major cardiovascular events,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.