High blood pressure a growing problem

AFP
More than a third of adults in China suffer from high blood pressure, but only one in 20 are able to effectively manage their condition, according to the latest research.
AFP

More than a third of adults in China suffer from high blood pressure, but only one in 20 are able to effectively manage their condition, according to the latest research.

Strokes account for one in five deaths a year in China, researchers said, with uncontrolled high blood pressure a significant risk factor.

However, fewer than a quarter of people with hypertension take medication and treatment among those who receive it was found to be ineffective or unsuitable.

The availability of medication for high blood pressure is patchy across the country and one in 12 primary health-care pharmacies do not stock any anti-hypertensive drugs at all, according to studies published in medical journal The Lancet.

Some 1.7 million people aged 35-75 were screened in 31 provinces on the Chinese mainland.

Blood pressure levels are increasing “likely because of an aging population, urbanization, dietary changes and obesity,” Professor Jiang Lixin from Beijing’s Fuwai Hospital said.

Prescriptions at more than 3,300 primary health care sites were also analyzed as part of the China Patient-Centered Evaluative Assessment of Cardiac Events Million Persons Project.

“It is simple deficiencies in the country’s health system that make a large contribution to the disease burden,” said Therese Hesketh of the UCL Institute for Global Health and Xudong Zhou of Zhejiang University School of Public Health, Hangzhou, in a commentary for the study.

“This situation is worrying, not least because prevention and control of hypertension have been a high priority in China for more than two decades.”

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