Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Cardiovascular Disorders and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Hypertension awareness, treatment and control in Africa: a systematic review

James Kayima1*, Rhoda K Wanyenze2, Achilles Katamba3, Elli Leontsini4 and Fred Nuwaha2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda

2 Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda

3 Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda

4 Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2013, 13:54  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-13-54

Published: 2 August 2013

Abstract

Background

Inadequate diagnosis and suboptimal control of hypertension is a major driver of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in Africa. Understanding the levels of awareness, treatment and control of hypertension and the associated factors has important implications for hypertension control efforts.

Methods

The PubMed database was searched for original articles related to awareness, treatment and control of hypertension in Africa published between 1993 and 2013. The key search terms were: Africa, awareness, treatment, control, and hypertension. Exploration of bibliographies cited in the identified articles was done to provide further studies. Full texts of the articles were obtained from various internet sources and individual authors. A data extraction sheet was used to collect this information.

Results

Thirty eight studies drawn from 23 African countries from all regions of the continent met the inclusion criteria. The levels of awareness, treatment and control varied widely from country to country. Rural populations had lower levels of awareness than urban areas. North African countries had the highest levels of treatment in the continent. There was generally poor control of hypertension across the region even among subjects that were aware of their status and those that were treated. On the whole, the women had a better control status than the men.

Conclusion

There are low levels of awareness and treatment of hypertension and even lower levels of control. Tailored research is required to uncover specific reasons behind these low levels of awareness and treatment, and especially control, in order to inform policy formulation for the improvement of outcomes of hypertensive patients in Africa.

Keywords:
Hypertension; Awareness; Control; Gender; Associated factors