Hypertension control rates are low in South Asia. To determine association of measures of socioeconomic status (wealth, education, and social capital) with hypertension awareness, treatment, and control among urban and rural subjects in these countries we performed the present study.METHODS
We enrolled 33,423 subjects aged 35-70 years (women 56%, rural 53%, low-education status 51%, low household wealth 25%, low-social capital 33%) in 150 communities in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh during 2003-2009. Prevalence of hypertension and its awareness, treatment, and control status and their association with wealth, education, and social capital were determined.RESULTS
Age-, sex-, and location-adjusted prevalence of hypertension in men was 31.5% (23.9-40.2%) and women was 32.6% (24.9-41.5%) with variations in prevalence across study sites (urban 30-56%, rural 11-43%). Prevalence was significantly greater in urban locations, older subjects, and participants with more wealth, greater education, and lower social capital index. Hypertension awareness was in 40.4% (urban 45.9, rural 32.5), treatment in 31.9% (urban 37.6, rural 23.6), and control in 12.9% (urban 15.4, rural 9.3). Control was lower in men and younger subjects. Hypertension awareness, treatment, and control were significantly lower, respectively, in lowest vs. highest wealth index tertile (26.2 vs. 50.6%, 16.9 vs. 44.0%, and 6.9 vs. 17.3%, P < 0.001) and lowest vs. highest educational status tertile (31.2 vs. 48.4%, 21.8 vs. 42.1%, and 7.8 vs. 19.2%, P < 0.001) while insignificant differences were observed in lowest vs. highest social capital index (38.2 vs. 36.1%, 35.1 vs. 27.8%, and 12.5 vs. 9.1%).CONCLUSIONS
This study shows low hypertension awareness, treatment, and control in South Asia. Lower wealth and educational status are important in low hypertension awareness, treatment, and control.