Global Hypertension Treatment Gap Revealed

  • 21 Sep 2023

On 19th September, 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) released its inaugural report on the global impact of hypertension, highlighting that approximately 80% of individuals with high blood pressure do not receive adequate treatment.

Key Points

  • Hypertension's Deadly Toll in India: A paper from the South-East Asia region identifies hypertension as India's leading risk factor for death and disability.
  • During 2016–2020, less than a quarter of hypertensive patients in India had their blood pressure under control, although there have been improvements.
  • Rising Prevalence in India: The 2019–2020 National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) reports a hypertension prevalence of 24% in men and 21% in women, up from 19% and 17% in the previous round (2015–16).
  • India's India Hypertension Control Initiative is recognized for its positive impact within the primary healthcare system.
  • Global Hypertension Epidemic: WHO reveals that one in three adults worldwide suffers from hypertension, a dangerous condition linked to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney damage, and other health issues.
  • Between 1990 and 2019, the number of individuals with hypertension doubled to 1.3 billion, with nearly half unaware of their condition.
  • Low and Middle-Income Countries Most Affected: Over three-quarters of adults with hypertension reside in low- and middle-income nations, underscoring the global health disparities associated with this condition.
  • Combatting Hypertension: The WHO advocates lifestyle changes such as adopting a healthier diet, quitting tobacco, and increasing physical activity to lower blood pressure.
  • Medications may also be necessary for effective hypertension management and complication prevention.
  • Cost-Effective Intervention: WHO emphasizes that preventing, detecting, and managing hypertension represent cost-effective healthcare interventions.
  • The economic benefits of improved hypertension treatment programs far outweigh the costs by an estimated 18 to 1.