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Emerging trends in hypertension epidemiology in India

Abstract

Hypertension is the most important risk factor for chronic disease burden in India. Studies from various parts of India have reported high prevalence of hypertension. These studies have also reported that hypertension is increasing and there is low awareness and control. Two recent studies have been conducted with uniform tools and nationwide sampling to determine the true prevalence of hypertension in the country. Fourth National Family Health Survey evaluated hypertension in a large population based sample (n = 799,228) and reported hypertension in 13.8% men vs. 8.8% women (overall 11.3%) aged 15–49 and 15–54 respectively. More representative data (age > 18 years, n = 1,320,555) in Fourth District Level Household Survey reported hypertension in 25.3% with greater prevalence in men (27.4%) than women (20.0%). This translates into 207 million persons (men 112 million, women 95 million) with hypertension in India. Prevalence would be much higher using 2017 American guidelines. Global Burden of Diseases study reported that hypertension led to 1.63 million deaths in India in 2016 as compared to 0.78 million in 1990 (+108%). The disease burden (DALYs) attributable to hypertension increased from 21 million in 1990 to 39 million in 2016 (+89%). Social determinants of hypertension are important and Indian states with greater urbanization, human development and social development have more hypertension. There is poor association of hypertension prevalence with healthcare availability although there is positive association with healthcare access and quality. The health system in India should focus on better hypertension screening and control to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

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Correspondence to Rajeev Gupta.

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Gupta, R., Gaur, K. & S. Ram, C.V. Emerging trends in hypertension epidemiology in India. J Hum Hypertens 33, 575–587 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41371-018-0117-3

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