Introduction Hypertension, a chronic disease with high prevalence and trend of increase in Brazil, has important influence on morbidity and mortality. Self-report are widely used to assess hypertension in surveys, due to low cost. However, there are few validation studies of the self-reported hypertension data.
Objective To investigate the validity of self-reported hypertension among adults.
Methods Data from a population-based survey and a complementary study carried out between 2008 and 2010, in 186 Brazilian adults (20 y or over), residents in São Paulo. Sensitivity, specificity as well as predictive values positive (PVP) and negative (PVN) of self-reported hypertension were calculated in relation to hypertension, according to the criteria of the Seventh Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (means diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mm Hg and/or systolic blood pressure ≥140 mm Hg and/or present use of anti-hypertensive drugs).
Results The validity of self-reported hypertension was relatively high in adults: sensitivity 87%, specificity 75%, PVP 70% and PVN 89%.
Conclusion Self-reported hypertension may be used in calculating the prevalence of this chronic disease for monitoring of hypertension trends, in the absence of measured blood pressure, among this population.
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