Even among those taking anti-hypertensive medication, more than 50 percent were ‘uncontrolled’ – unable to maintain a normal blood pressure level, shows the study, led by icddr,b’s Masuma Akter Khanam.
The burden of hypertension — high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for stroke, heart failure, and kidney failure — now stands at about 15-20 percent among the adults of Bangladesh. And increasing age and more wealth have significant independent association with the uncontrolled hypertension, the study says.
It observes that the high prevalence of undiagnosed hypertension, and more than 50 percent of the treated hypertension being uncontrolled puts a great challenge for Bangladesh, a resource-poor setting country.
It suggests that regular health checkup or health screening along with implementation of hypertensive guidelines should be reinforced.
A separate review, led by icddr,b’s Kamrun Nahar Koly, looked at nine primary studies and found that among Bangladeshi adults, the prevalence of hypertension is increasing at a rate of 0.04 per year.
Researchers said among risk factors for hypertension, age, gender, race and genetics are non-modifiable and thus difficult for people to change.
They stressed prevention and control efforts with focus on better managing the modifiable risk factors through lifestyle changes such as reducing overweight, increasing physical activity, lowering the consumption of sodium and high calorie diets, and avoiding the consumption of alcohol, tobacco or betel leaves.
According to them, as hypertension is becoming an emerging epidemic in developing countries, Bangladesh is poised to take further action to prevent non-communicable diseases.