Arterial Hypertension In France: 17 Million Hypertensives Of Which More Than 6 Million Are Unaware Of Their Disease

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Arterial Hypertension In France

On the occasion of the world day against high blood pressure on May 17, 2023, Public Health France provides an overview of the latest French data and recalls the preventive measures to be adopted to limit the risk of occurrence of the disease or complications in patients already affected.

For example, spending their time playing live roulette online and never moving from their seat is definitely a thing you shouldn’t do!

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In France, 17 million people suffer from high blood pressure (HTA) and 1.6 million French people start treatment each year. Considered as a disease or as a simple risk factor, it is the most common chronic disease in France and one of the main causes of cardiovascular (myocardial infarction, stroke), renal (kidney failure) or cognitive (dementia) complications. …), due to the frequent absence of symptoms.

In 2019, hypertension was the first risk factor for mortality ahead of tobacco and the second risk factor for years of life lost in good health. However, regular measurement of blood pressure (at least once a year) allows early detection of the disease. Despite the demonstrated benefits of prevention, screening and management of hypertension, the prevalence, screening or control indicators have not improved since 2006, unlike many countries.


Hypertension is not only a disease in itself but also a major risk factor for various complications, including cardiovascular problems like myocardial infarction and stroke, renal issues like kidney failure, and cognitive impairments such as dementia.

One of the challenges in tackling hypertension is the lack of noticeable symptoms, which often leads to delayed diagnosis and treatment initiation. In fact, hypertension was identified as the leading risk factor for mortality in 2019, surpassing tobacco, and ranked as the second leading risk factor for years of healthy life lost.

However, regular blood pressure measurements, at least once a year, play a crucial role in early detection and timely intervention.

A Decline In Screening And Treatment For Hypertension During The Health Crisis

The COVID-19 epidemic had a significant impact on the number of patients starting antihypertensive treatment in 2020, probably linked to a decrease in the population’s use of care during this period and therefore a drop in screening. The decline in antihypertensive treatment initiations was greater in women and they had not returned to the level of initiation before the health crisis in 2021.

A Very High Prevalence Of Hypertension In The Droms, Particularly Among Women

The results of the France 2021 Public Health Barometer conducted among the population of the four overseas departments and regions (DROM) revealed a higher prevalence of declared hypertension in the DROMs than in mainland France, particularly in France. Martinique (31.5%) and Guadeloupe (29.39%), and higher among women than among men.

The proportion of patients treated with an antihypertensive drug among the adults declaring themselves hypertensive did not vary according to the territory, nor according to the sex and exceeded 80% as in mainland France. Between 65% and 73% of hypertensive adults declared having had advice to modify their way of life in the DROMs against 58.5% in mainland France. In Guyana, 51.5% of hypertensives had a blood pressure self-measurement device at home, while they were 53.8% in Reunion and more than 70% in Guadeloupe and Martinique.

Prevent The Risk Of High Blood Pressure By Adopting Healthy Behaviors From An Early Age

Before the appearance of the disease, the adoption of behaviors conducive to health, in particular a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, a limited consumption of salt and alcohol, the practice of regular physical activity, the control of one’s weight can limit the rise in blood pressure and the risk of hypertension.

Regular blood pressure measurement (at least once a year) is also an important preventive measure to allow early detection of the disease.

In people with hypertension, the adoption of lifestyle and dietary rules can help control blood pressure. To prevent the risk of developing hypertension, it is crucial to adopt healthy behaviors from an early age. This includes maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, limiting salt and alcohol intake, engaging in regular physical activity, and managing weight effectively. Regular blood pressure measurement, at least once a year, is also vital for early detection of hypertension.

For those already diagnosed with hypertension, lifestyle modifications and dietary changes can help manage blood pressure levels. Pharmacological or interventional treatments may also be prescribed to bring blood pressure below the threshold of 140/90mmHg. This control of blood pressure makes it possible to limit the risk of occurrence of complications in patients, thus making it possible to lengthen the life expectancy but also the quality of life of hypertensive patients.


In conclusion, hypertension remains a significant health burden in France, affecting millions of individuals, many of whom are unaware of their condition. Public Health France emphasizes the importance of prevention, early detection, and effective management of hypertension through regular blood pressure monitoring, lifestyle modifications, and appropriate medical interventions. By prioritizing these measures, individuals can reduce the incidence of hypertension, improve their overall health outcomes, and enhance their quality of life.

About the Author

Jared Levenson is a former binge eating wrestler turned Zen Buddhist Monk, Internal Family Systems counselor and nutrition wellness coach. He's helped hundreds of people through universal meal principles and internal family systems to make peace with food, stop binge eating, and find true health and wholeness.


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