Hypertension Prevalence, Awareness, Treatment, and Control in Selected LMIC Communities: Results From the NHLBI/UHG Network of Centers of Excellence for Chronic Diseases

Authors : Irazola VE, Gutierrez L, Bloomfield G, Carrillo-Larco RM, Dorairaj P, Gaziano T, Levitt NS, Miranda JJ, Ortiz AB, Steyn K, Wu Y, Xavier D, Yan LL, He J, Rubinstein A
Publication Year : 2016

Hypertension is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease and premature death worldwide. The prevalence of this public health problem is increasing in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in both urban and rural communities.

The aim of this study was to examine hypertension prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control in adults 35 to 74 years of age from urban and rural communities in LMICs in Africa, Asia, and South America.

The authors analyzed data from 7 population-based cross-sectional studies in selected communities in 9 LMICs that were conducted between 2008 and 2013. Age- and sex-standardized prevalence rates of pre-hypertension and hypertension were calculated. The prevalence rates of awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension were estimated overall and by subgroups of age, sex, and educational level.

In selected communities, age- and sex-standardized prevalence rates of hypertension among men and women 35 to 74 years of age were 49.9% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 42.3% to 57.4%) in Kenya, 54.9% (95% CI: 51.3% to 58.4%) in South Africa, 52.5% (95% CI: 50.1% to 54.8%) in China, 32.5% (95% CI: 31.7% to 33.3%) in India, 42.3% (95% CI: 40.4% to 44.2%) in Pakistan, 45.4% (95% CI: 43.6% to 47.2%) in Argentina, 39.9% (95% CI: 37.8% to 42.1%) in Chile, 19.2% (95% CI: 17.8% to 20.5%) in Peru, and 44.1% (95% CI: 41.6% to 46.6%) in Uruguay. The proportion of awareness varied from 33.5% in India to 69.0% in Peru, the proportion of treatment among those who were aware of their hypertension varied from 70.8% in South Africa to 93.3% in Pakistan, and the proportion of blood pressure control varied from 5.3% in China to 45.9% in Peru.

The prevalence of hypertension varies widely in different communities. The rates of awareness, treatment, and control also differ in different settings. There is a clear need to focus on increasing hypertension awareness and control in LMICs.