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Examining the prevalence, correlates and inequalities of undiagnosed hypertension in Nepal: a population-based cross-sectional study

Hasan, M M, Tasnim, F, Tariqujjaman, M, Ahmed, Sayem ORCID:, Cleary, A and Mamun, A (2020) 'Examining the prevalence, correlates and inequalities of undiagnosed hypertension in Nepal: a population-based cross-sectional study'. BMJ Open, Vol 10, Issue 10, e037592.

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Objective To examine the prevalence, correlates and sociodemographic inequalities of undiagnosed hypertension in Nepal.

Design This study used cross-sectional 2016 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) data. Undiagnosed patients with hypertension were defined as an NDHS respondent who was diagnosed as hypertensive (systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg) during the survey, but never took any prescribed anti-hypertensive medicine to lower/control blood pressure and was never identified as having hypertension by a health professional prior the survey. Multiple binary logistic regression analysis was performed, and Concentration Index was measured.

Setting Nepal.

Participants Adult patients with hypertension.

Results Among 3334 patients with hypertension, 50.4% remained undiagnosed during the survey in Nepal. Adjusted model reveals that patients who were male, belonged to households other than the highest wealth quintile, and lived in province 4 and province 5 were at higher risk of remaining undiagnosed for hypertension. Patients who were ≥65 years of age and were overweight/obese were at lower risk of remaining undiagnosed for hypertension. The poor-rich gap was 24.6 percentage points (Q1=64.1% vs Q5=39.6%) and poor:rich ratio was 1.6 (Q1/Q5=1.6) in the prevalence of undiagnosed hypertension. Undiagnosed hypertension was disproportionately higher among lower socioeconomic status groups (Concentration Index, C=−0.18). Inequalities in the prevalence of undiagnosed hypertension further varied across other geographic locations, including place of residence, ecological zones and administrative provinces.

Conclusions Undiagnosed hypertension was highly prevalent in Nepal and there were substantial inequalities by sociodemographics and subnational levels. Increasing awareness, strengthening routine screening to diagnose hypertension at primary health service facilities and enactment of social health insurance policy may help Nepal to prevent and control this burden.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WA Public Health > Statistics. Surveys > WA 900 Public health statistics
WG Cardiovascular System > WG 100 General works
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Mary Creegan
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2020 14:50
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2020 11:31


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