'Around 20% of the total population have hypertension'
Uncontrolled hypertension is one of the major risk factors for death in Bangladesh. In a recent study, ICDDR,B found that only 12% of those with hypertension were aware of the condition, and only half of those identified later went for treatment.
The information was disclosed at a seminar, titled “Hypertension! The Silent Killer! Reaching the Unreached,” held at the ICCDR,B premises in Dhaka to observe world hypertension day.
In his presentation at the seminar, titled “Technical package of hypertension management in primary health care,” Association of Physicians of Bangladesh Secretary General Dr SM Mustafa Zaman said: “Around 20% of the total population have hypertension. Among them, 12% of them knew about their hypertension, while only half of them go for treatment.”
“We are developing a guideline for community level health care professionals, so that medicine for hypertension affected people can be made available with country's limited resources,” he added
Meanwhile, in her presentation titled “Cobra-BPS: A potential strategy for strengthening primary care for hypertension control in rural areas in Bangladesh,” Head of NCD at ICDDR,B’s HSPSD Aliya Naheed revealed that a triple approach intervention is in progress in Munshiganj and Tangail to screen for hypertension. The final results will be determined next year.
The ongoing study has found a 37% prevalence rate of hypertension in the districts, with 98% of the cases severe enough that health workers referred them to district hospitals. However, only 71% of those who were referred later went to health facilities.
A total 4,442 people aged more than 40 have been screened in 10 clusters, five from each district. Among them, 1,148 people were diagnosed with hypertension, with 59% having the uncontrolled variant. A total 895 of those diagnosed were enrolled for Cobra-BPS.
Furthermore, she said that those who were married tended to have controlled hypertension, while unmarried, divorced or widowed individuals tended to have uncontrolled hypertension. Around 20% of those above the age of 40 are widowed, divorced or single.
The primary cause of hypertension was determined to be obesity, with 55% of the participants being overweight. In addition, 36% of the participants also had one or more chronic diseases.