Health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are poorly prepared for the increasing number of people with high blood pressure, with more than two-thirds of people affected going without treatment, according to a new study led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in collaboration with colleagues from more than 40 institutions around the world, including several ministries of health.
The study examined household survey data for 1 million people living in 44 LMICs and found that less than half of those with high blood pressure are properly diagnosed. Among those with the condition, only 30 percent are treated and only 10 percent have the disease under control. These proportions, however, varied widely between countries, with some performing consistently better than others even after taking into account differences in economic development.
The study was published in The Lancet on Thursday, July 18.
“Our study shows not only that care for hypertension in these countries is severely inadequate, but also where exactly patients in each country are being lost in the care process,” said Dr. Pascal Geldsetzer, postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and first author of the study.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on July 26