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Hypertension in the Middle East: current state, human factors, and barriers to control

Abstract

Hypertension is the leading source of morbidity and death. In the 21st century, there still is a major gap between high and low to middle-income countries in awareness, management, and control; countries in the Middle East represent an example of such disparities. In this review of the literature, light is shed on the prevalence and modifiable risk factors of hypertension specific to the region, as well as regional disparities in diagnosis and management. The crude prevalence rate is estimated to be around 29.5% with wide variability between countries. Various modifiable factors affect the prevalence of hypertension in this region such as excessively high rates of smoking, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, some gender gap, and a suboptimal healthcare system; socio-economic factors and disparities in education, literacy, and urbanization play a significant role. Patient adherence to treatment is a determining factor of blood pressure control and nonadherence adversely affect outcomes. In addition, physician adherence to international guidelines is poor. Recognizing these barriers to hypertension management, this review serves as a call for increased national and regional efforts to implement favorable healthcare policies and improve clinical outcomes.

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Abboud, M., Karam, S. Hypertension in the Middle East: current state, human factors, and barriers to control. J Hum Hypertens (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41371-021-00554-z

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