10 August 2012

Hypertension: widely present in developing countries

Hypertension is still the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease and mortality and worldwide, more than 7 million deaths can be attributed directly or indirectly to the effects of hypertension. This major cause of morbidity and mortality affects between 20% and 50% of adults. The Lancet has dedicated a Series of three papers about hypertension
Hypertension is also very common in developing countries as around three quarters of people affected by hypertensions live in a developing region. Despite this high burden, the rates of awareness, treatment, and control are low and this situation might be attributed to several factors .
From  Ibrahim and  Damasceno article: “Several hypertension risk factors seem to be more common in developing countries than in developed regions. Findings from serial surveys show an increasing prevalence of hypertension in developing countries, possibly caused by urbanisation, ageing of population, changes to dietary habits, and social stress. High illiteracy rates, poor access to health facilities, bad dietary habits, poverty, and high costs of drugs contribute to poor blood pressure control. The health system in many developing countries is inadequate because of low funds, poor infrastructure, and inexperience.”