The latest research has found that while blood pressure has improved in Australia, there is still some way to go in terms of the amount of data we have on it.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) said the number of blood pressure readings collected by health services has dropped by around 25 per cent since the turn of the century.
While there are now about 4.4 million Australians aged 18 and over, the number has fallen to just over 1.5 million, the AIHW said.
“Data collected by the health services is not the best way to monitor the health of Australians,” Dr Michelle Rizzo, chief executive of AIHw, said.
“We know that the Australian population has changed dramatically over the past 20 years, and that this change in behaviour is linked to a range of lifestyle factors.”
However, the underlying drivers of health change and disease remain the same, so our focus should be on the changes that occur in our population over time.
“In Australia, more than half of adults have hypertension.
The new research found that more than 25 per one cent of people had blood pressure above 140/90 mm Hg, and more than 40 per cent had systolic blood pressure over 100 mm HG.
There were more than 1.6 million hospital admissions for heart failure, a condition where blood pressure is elevated.
The AIHIW said more data from health services could be used to provide better advice for people.”
The best way forward is to develop more accurate and reliable data to inform our care delivery systems, such as improved and accurate medical records,” Dr Rizzol said.