Arterial hypertension is an easily diagnosed illness and with efficient therapeutic diversity for its control. However, a large number of those affected continue to ignore it, not controlling their pressure levels even after diagnosis. In this way, the objective was to verify the awareness of workers at a public university concerning the control and maintenance of arterial pressure within normal parameters, and analyze the practice of preventative measures with a view to adopting a lifestyle compatible with an optimal functional level. A descriptive study was conducted with 32 workers of the Public State University in Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil. The data and comments were categorized in thematic units. The conclusion was that the workers knew which changes of habits need to be adopted to prevent hypertension. With respect to obesity, 26 (81%) considered it a risk factor for hypertension. Concerning alcohol and anger, 25 (78%) and 17 (53%) respectively agreed that they were indicative for a rise in arterial pressure. Similarly, smoking was mentioned by 23 (72%) interviewees. Nevertheless, the eating habits of these workers demands more attention, as 19 (60%) were not following a balanced diet, becoming obese or overweight. Thus it was observed that changing habits is difficult, especially eating habits. However, a change in lifestyle is related to awareness activities and the imperious needs of each individual with respect to his health problems and his determination to want to attain his optimal functional level.
Hypertension; Life style; Nursing