As part of an epidemiological study of hypertension, an analysis was made of the general practitioner records of all attenders at a screening survey. A blood pressure recording, made before screening, was found in 37-9 per cent of cases. The pressures obtained correlated well with those obtained by the screening unit, though the practitioners' readings tended to be lower. Further cases of hypertension were found, not diagnosed by the screening unit; the estimate made of the prevalence of hypertension at the survey could be corrected by inclusion of these cases. Chest pain, headaches, lightheadedness, and dizziness were common reasons for blood pressure measurement in general practice, but these symptoms were not associated with a rise in the blood pressure; symptoms were not helpful in the diagnosis of hypertension. Some form of screening programme is necessary to detect cases of hypertension. This could be carried out by general practitioners.
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