Limited data are available about the incidence of hypertension over the 5-yr in non-hypertensive subjects. The study subjects were 1,806 subjects enrolled in a rural area of Daegu, Korea for a cohort study from August to November 2003. Of them, 1,287 (71.3%) individuals had another examination 5 yr later. To estimate the incidence of hypertension, 730 non-hypertensive individuals (265 males; mean age = 56.6 ± 11.1 yr-old) at baseline examination were analyzed in this study. Hypertension was defined as either a new diagnosis of hypertension or self-reports of newly initiated antihypertensive treatment; prehypertension was if the systolic blood pressure was 120-139 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure was 80-89 mmHg. During the 5-yr follow-up, 195 (26.7%) non-hypertensive individuals developed incident hypertension. The age-adjusted 5-yr incidence rates of hypertension were 22.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 19.9-29.0) in overall subjects, 22.2% (95% CI = 17.2-27.2) in men, and 24.3% (95% CI = 20.4-28.2) in women. The incidence rates of hypertension significantly increased with age. In the multivariate analysis, prehypertension (Odds ratio [OR] 2.25; P < 0.001) and older age (OR 2.26; P = 0.010) were independent predictors for incident hypertension. In this rapidly aging society, population-based preventive approach to decrease blood pressure, particularly in subjects with prehypertension, is needed to reduce hypertension
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