The Distribution of Hypertension in the Philippine General Hospital after 4 Decades (A Comparative Study)

Deborah David-Ona, Dexter M. De Castro and Aida C. Baltazar

Section of Hypertension, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine and
Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila


Objective. The prevalence of hypertension is 20% in the Philippines, and it increases year after year. It remains a risk factor for coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart and renal failure. The gravity of complications from hypertension also reflects the effectiveness of the awareness programs in the Philippines. The patient population of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), being a tertiary referral center in the Philippines, has been represented by indigenous groups of Filipino people from the different provinces in the Philippines. In 1966, Dr. Baltazar conducted a study on the pattern of distribution of hypertension in PGH. It showed that essential hypertension was the leading cause of admission in PGH. This study aims to determine the prevalence and distribution of hypertensives admitted to PGH after for decades of improvement in the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension in the Philippines.

Methods. Chart review of all hypertensive patients admitted at the charity wards or intensive care units in PGH in 2005 was performed. The year 2005 was selected due to the limitation of the Medical Records Section in retrieving charts before that year. Data from the Department of Pediatrics was excluded due to the insignificant number of hypertensives seen by the Department.

Results. The information obtained from this study showed a decline in prevalence from 8.4% in 1966 to 4.1% in 2005 with a predominance of pregnancy-related hypertension in 1966 compared with primary hypertension in 2005.

Conclusion: This comparative study shows an expected decline in the prevalence of hypertension among admitted patients which can be attributed to heightened hypertension awareness, screening programs, and good quality of care.

Key Words: hypertension, distribution, tertiary hospital, Philippines