Prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of hypertension in four Middle East countries

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Abstract

Objective:

We report the prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension across four Middle Eastern countries (Iran, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates), using a standardized and uniform method.

Methods:

The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology study enrolled participants from 52 urban and 35 rural communities from four countries in the Middle East. We report results using definitions of hypertension, prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control, and the standards for uniform reporting of hypertension in adults as recently recommended by the World Hypertension League expert committee.

Results:

Data for analyses were available on 10 516 participants, of whom 5082 (48%) were men. The mean age was 49 (±9.4) years for men and 48 (±9.3) years among women. A total of 3270 participants had hypertension (age-standardized rates, 33%), and n = 1807 (49%) of these participants were aware of their diagnosis. Of those with hypertension, n = 1754, (47%) were treated and only n = 673, (19%) had controlled blood pressure levels. Only 17% (n = 541) of those treated for hypertension received two or more blood pressure-lowering medications and 15% (n = 499) received statins. The prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of blood pressure were higher among women and older (50–69 years) participants compared with men and younger individuals (30–49 years) (P < 0.0001 for all). The prevalence was higher in rural communities; however, awareness, treatment, and control were significantly higher among urban dwellers.

Conclusion:

Findings from this study indicate the need for improvements in hypertension diagnosis and treatment in the Middle East, especially in rural communities, men and younger individuals.

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