OBJECTIVE: Assessing the validity of self-reported hypertension and its determinants among adults living in the community was the objective of this study. METHODS: A simple random sample of residents in the city of Bambuí, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil aged >18 years was selected. Three blood pressure measurements were performed in 970 inhabitants. Sensitivity, specificity as well as positive and negative predictive values of self-reported hypertension were assessed in relation to hypertension (mean blood pressure >90 or >140 mm Hg and/or present use of anti-hypertensive drugs). RESULTS: Sensibility and specificity of self-reported hypertension were 72.1% (95% CI: 69.3-75.0) and 86.4% (95% CI: 84.3-88.6), respectively. Its prevalence was 27.2% (95% CI: 24.4-30.1), being reasonably similar to the prevalence of hypertension (23.3%; 95% CI: 20.7-26.1%). The validity of self-reported hypertension was higher among women, among individuals aged 40-59 and >60 years, among those who visited a doctor more recently (< two years) and among those with higher body mass index (>25 kg/m²). CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study show that self-reported hypertension is an appropriate indicator of hypertension prevalence, even in a population not living in a large urban center.
Blood pressure; Self-reported hypertension; Sensitivity and specificity