Undiagnosed and uncontrolled hypertension among the adults in rural Bangladesh: findings from a community-based study

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Abstract

Objectives:

This article reports the prevalence and prediction factors of undiagnosed and uncontrolled hypertension among the adults in rural Bangladesh.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study of the major noncommunicable disease risk factors was conducted in rural surveillance sites of Bangladesh in 2005. In addition to the self-report questions on risk factors, height, weight, and blood pressure were measured using standard protocols of the WHO STEPwise approach to Surveillance. Undiagnosed hypertension was defined when people reported no hypertension but were found hypertensive when measured, and uncontrolled hypertension was defined when people reported receiving antihypertensive treatment but their blood pressure was above the normal range when measured.

Results:

The prevalence of undiagnosed hypertension was 11.1%, increasing with age to 22.7% among those aged 60 years and above. Among the hypertensive patients receiving treatment, 54.9% were found to be uncontrolled (34.5% among 25–39 years and 67.9% among 60+ years). Increasing age and higher BMI were significantly positively associated with undiagnosed hypertension in multivariate analysis. Increasing age and more wealth have significant independent association with uncontrolled hypertension.

Conclusion:

High prevalence of undiagnosed hypertension, and more than 50% of the treated hypertension being uncontrolled puts a great challenge ahead for Bangladesh, a resource-poor setting. Regular health check or health screening along with implementation of hypertensive guidelines should be reinforced.

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