Low awareness, treatment and control of hypertension across the globe

Hypertension is associated with 7.6 million deaths worldwide and is the leading modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, global studies of hypertension prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control are lacking. The PURE (Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology) study involves urban and rural communities in 3 high-income, 10 middle-income, and 4 low-income countries. CVD risk factors including blood pressure readings were collected by trained professionals from 142,042 adults aged 35 – 70 years between January 2003 and December 2009. Overall, 40.8% of participants had hypertension, only 46.5% of hypertensive patients were aware of their condition, and 40.6% of hypertensive patients were receiving treatment. Only 13.2% of hypertensive patients were controlled (<140/90 mmHg). Lowest rates of awareness, treatment and control were seen in low-income countries. 


There is a large gap between detection and control of hypertension worldwide. Substantial efforts are needed to address this worldwide problem.

  • Chow CK, Teo KK, Rangarajan S, et al. Prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in rural and urban communities in high-, middle-, and low-income countries. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association. Sep 4 2013;310(9):959-968