Elevated blood pressure in the developing world: a role for clinical pharmacists

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The objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and patient knowledge of elevated blood pressure amongst a cross-section of patients in underserved communities in three selected low-income countries worldwide: El Salvador, India and Kenya.


Mobile medical clinics were established as part of medical mission trips in El Salvador, India and Kenya. Willing male and female patients, at least 25 years of age, who presented at each clinic were screened for elevated blood pressure, including 332 patients in El Salvador, 847 patients in India and 160 patients in Kenya. Patients were classified into Stage I or II elevated blood pressure based on modified JNCVII guidelines. A questionnaire was completed regarding their knowledge about the existence and management of their disease state.

Key findings

Of the 1339 patients screened, 368 presented with elevated blood pressure (27%). Of these patients, 147 had been previously informed of hypertension or an elevated blood pressure (39.9%), 28 reported receiving antihypertensive medication (7.6%) and 24 reported awareness of non-pharmaceutical treatment options (6.5%). In Kenya, 81 patients were screened in a rural setting and 79 in an urban setting. Patients demonstrating controlled blood pressure were 63 (78%) and 38 (48%), respectively, demonstrating a significant difference between the rural versus urban settings (P = 0.00359).


All regions demonstrated similar trends in the prevalence of elevated blood pressure, highlighting the need for increased disease state education in these regions.

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