The continuous presence of elevated blood pressure (BP) when young is a strong predictor of future cardiovascular risk. This study aimed to elucidate the prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of young-onset hypertension (YOH) in Malaysia during the period 2006-2015. Data on respondents aged 18-39 diagnosed with YOH according to the 7th Joint National Committee Report (USA) were extracted from three National Health and Morbidity Surveys (2006, 2011, and 2015). The prevalence of YOH remained stable: 17.7%, 95% CI [17.0, 18.3] in 2006, 17.0%, 95% CI [16.0, 17.9] in 2011 and 18.4%, 95% CI [17.4, 19.4] in 2015. Awareness, treatment and control rates were suboptimal; 15% were aware of their diagnosis, of which less than 50% were on treatment and less than 40% who were on treatment had their BP controlled. Trend analysis revealed a significant increase in YOH prevalence among urban dwellers; those with no formal and tertiary education and middle-income earners. YOH awareness and treatment rates were lower among respondents <30 years; however, when treated, this group achieved overall better control rates. Females had higher awareness and treatment rates, but lower control. Treatment rates remained stable for all ethnicities with the exception of Chinese, which decreased. This study narrows the knowledge gap on YOH epidemiology in Malaysia by providing crucial information on the pervasiveness of hypertension among young adults. Results can be used to develop non-communicable disease policies and health promotion strategies specially targeted at young adults who are in the prime of life.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.