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Sex differences in the awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in China: a systematic review with meta-analyses

Hypertension Research (2018) | Download Citation



Hypertension is the major cause of preventable disease burden in China. However, limited evidence is available on sex differences in the awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension. We assessed sex differences in the awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in China. A systematic search of four English language and four Chinese-language databases was conducted to identify studies conducted from 2005 that reported sex-specific data on the awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in China. Random-effects meta-analysis weighted by the inverse of the variances were used to obtain pooled sex-specific rates and women-minus-men differences, and their 95% confidence intervals (CI). Overall, 57 studies comprising 2,155,829 individuals (55% women) were included. Awareness (53% in women vs. 47% in men), treatment among all (44% vs. 38%), treatment among aware (65% vs. 60%), control among all (17% vs. 14%), and control among treated (27% vs. 27%) were low for both sexes, but more favourable in women than men. The corresponding women-minus men difference was 7% (95% CI: 6; 8%) for awareness, 6% (5; 8%) for treatment among all, 6% (2; 9%) for treatment among aware, 3% (2; 3%) for control among all, and 0% (−2; 1%) for control among treated. Awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in China is low in both sexes, but greater in women than men. Sex-specific interventions may be needed to efficiently combat the burden of hypertension.

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This work was supported by a policy grant from the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. SP is supported by a UK Medical Research Council Skills Development Fellowship (MR/P014550/1).

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Author notes

  1. Joint first authors: Alice Redfern, Sanne A.E. Peters

  2. Joint senior authors: Haijun Wang, Robyn Norton


  1. The George Institute for Global Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

    • Alice Redfern
    • , Sanne A. E. Peters
    •  & Robyn Norton
  2. The George Institute for Global Health, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China

    • Rong Luo
    •  & Craig Anderson
  3. Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, China

    • Yu Cheng
    • , Chenxiong Li
    •  & Haijun Wang
  4. Institute of Medical Humanities, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China

    • Jiawen Wang
  5. The George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

    • Craig Anderson
    •  & Robyn Norton


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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Sanne A. E. Peters.

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