OBJECTIVES: Hypertension as assessed by blood pressure (BP) measurement is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Self-reported history of hypertension (self-reported HT) is an easy way to obtain information on BP and is known to have a certain sensitivity and high specificity for hypertension confirmed by BP measurement (confirmative HT). Thus, it might predict CVD mortality, but few studies have reported on this relationship. METHODS: We followed 6427 participants aged 30-59 years without a history of CVD for 19 years. The multivariate-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of CVD mortality was estimated by the Cox proportional hazard model. RESULTS: The sensitivity and specificity of self-reported HT for confirmative HT were 52-65% and 95%, respectively. The multivariate-adjusted HR of self-reported HT for CVD death was 2.49 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.72-3.61]. Compared to participants with neither self-reported HT nor confirmative HT, those with confirmative HT showed a consistently higher HR for CVD mortality. Self-reported HT without confirmative HT was also significantly related to CVD mortality (HR = 2.10, 95% CI = 1.04-4.26). These tendencies were unchanged when we further adjusted for systolic BP (SBP) level. The age-adjusted mortality rate of individuals with self-reported HT corresponded to the age-adjusted mortality rate of individuals whose SBP was 160-179 mmHg. CONCLUSION: Self-reported HT could screen one-half of the participants for confirmative HT and was significantly associated with CVD mortality. These results indicate that self-reported HT can be a useful tool to screen for individuals with high BP if it is difficult to perform BP measurements continuously among all members of a community.
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