More than two-thirds of patients from low-and middle-income countries are missing treatment for high blood pressure or hypertension, according to a recent study.
The study, published today in The Lancet, points out that healthcare in the Global South is poorly prepared for the increasing number of high blood pressure patients.
Researchers from the University of Birmingham, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the University of Göttingen and the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg evaluated health data of one million people from 44 countries as part of the study.
The findings reveal that less than half of those affected (39.2%) are diagnosed with hypertension and only 30 per cent are treated. The number of those who have the disease under control is just 10 per cent.
The researchers also found that the care in these countries is severely inadequate and where exactly patients are being lost in the treatment system.
“Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is known from other studies to be prevalent in lower and middle-income countries,” Justine Davies, Professor of Global Health at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research, said.
“Our research adds by showing that care in these countries is not able to match the number of people who need treatment. This is a particular problem as without treatment there is a considerable risk of complications – including stroke and death.”