The public health impact of hypertension in Cameroon is known. However, the exact future burden and the degree of awareness have not been quantified. We aimed to study the trend in the prevalence rates, awareness, treatment and associated risk factors of hypertension in Cameroon.Design and method:
We systematically searched PubMed, Google Scholar and grey literature for large scale community surveys of hypertension and its related risk factors up to 2015. Studies considered were those on adults aged ≥ 15 years of both sexes, residing in both urban and rural settings, which used the cutoff “≥140/90 mmHg” to define hypertension. Regression models were used to estimate the prevalence rates of hypertension for the years 2025 and 2035.Results:
Forty-four (44) surveys were identified, of which 16 (with pooled population of 65,500 participants) carried out between 1993 and 2013 were considered for analysis. The estimated crude prevalence rate of hypertension for 2025 is 35.5% (95% CI: 35.48 – 35.52, [≈6.3 million people]), and 37.3% (95% CI: 37.18 – 37.22, [≈8.7 million people]) for 2035. The age-adjusted prevalence rate of hypertension for 2025 is 31.9% (95% CI: 31.88 – 31.92, [≈5.6 million people]), and 33.5% (95% CI: 33.48 – 33.52, [≈7.8 million people]) for 2035. This represents a 40% increase by 2025 and a 95% increase by 2035 compared to the estimated 3.99 million hypertensive patients in 2015. This was coupled with a decreasing trend in the awareness rate, and an increased rate of associated risk factors such as diabetes, obesity, and tobacco use.Conclusions:
Our findings suggest that the prevalence of hypertension is increasing in Cameroon at an alarming rate, and many hypertensive patients will be underdiagnosed, untreated or poorly treated. Further research efforts to investigate road blocks to hypertension control, and enhance specific interventions for improving blood pressure control are advocated.