A glimpse into the future: modelling global prevalence of hypertension

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BMC Public Health


Background: Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Insights and foresights on trends of hypertension prevalence are crucial to informing health policymaking. We examined and projected the patterns of hypertension prevalence among sexes. Methods: Using annual hypertension prevalence (18 + years) data sourced from WHO Global Health Observatory data repository from 1975 to 2015, Prophet models were developed to forecast the 2040 prevalence of hypertension in males, females, and both sexes. We used k-means clustering and self-organising maps to determine the clusters of hypertension prevalence concerning both sexes among 176 countries. Results: Worldwide, Croatia is estimated to have the highest prevalence of hypertension in males by 2040, while that of females is in Niger. Among the world’s most populated countries, Pakistan and India are likely to increase by 7.7% and 4.0% respectively in both sexes. South-East Asia is projected to experience the largest hypertension prevalence in males, whereas Africa is estimated to have the highest prevalence of hypertension in females. Low-income countries are projected to have the highest prevalence of hypertension in both sexes. By 2040, the prevalence of hypertension worldwide is expected to be higher in the male population than in female. Globally, the prevalence of hypertension is projected to decrease from 22.1% in 2015 to 20.3% (20.2 – 20.4%) in 2040. We also identified three patterns of hypertension prevalence in 2040, cluster one countries are estimated to have the highest prevalence of hypertension in males (29.6%, 22.2 – 41.1%) and females (29.6%, 19.4 – 38.7%). Conclusion: These findings emphasise the need for new and effective approaches toward the prevention and control of hypertension in Africa, South-East Asia, and Low-income countries.

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