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Addressing global disparities in blood pressure control: perspectives of the International Society of Hypertension

Aletta E Schutte, Tazeen H Jafar, Neil R Poulter, Albertino Damasceno, Nadia A Khan, Peter M Nilsson, Jafar Alsaid, Dinesh Neupane, Kazuomi Kario, Hind Beheiry, Sofie Brouwers, Dylan Burger, Fadi J Charchar, Myeong-Chan Cho, Tomasz J Guzik, Ghazi F Haji Al-Saedi, Muhammad Ishaq, Hiroshi Itoh, Erika S W Jones, Taskeen Khan, Yoshihiro Kokubo, Praew Kotruchin, Elizabeth Muxfeldt, Augustine Odili, Mansi Patil, et al.
Cardiovascular Research

Raised blood pressure (BP) is the leading cause of preventable death in the world. Yet, its global prevalence is increasing, and it remains poorly detected, treated, and controlled in both high- and low-resource settings. From the perspective of members of the International Society of Hypertension based in all regions, we reflect on the past, present, and future of hypertension care, highlighting key challenges and opportunities, which are often region-specific. We report that most countries failed to show sufficient improvements in BP control rates over the past three decades, with greater improvements mainly seen in some high-income countries, also reflected in substantial reductions in the burden of cardiovascular disease and deaths. Globally, there are significant inequities and disparities based on resources, sociodemographic environment, and race with subsequent disproportionate hypertension-related outcomes. Additional unique challenges in specific regions include conflict, wars, migration, unemployment, rapid urbanization, extremely limited funding, pollution, COVID-19-related restrictions and inequalities, obesity, and excessive salt and alcohol intake. Immediate action is needed to address suboptimal hypertension care and related disparities on a global scale. We propose a Global Hypertension Care Taskforce including multiple stakeholders and societies to identify and implement actions in reducing inequities, addressing social, commercial, and environmental determinants, and strengthening health systems implement a well-designed customized quality-of-care improvement framework.

Keywords: Awareness; Cardiovascular disease; Control; Epidemiology; Global; Hypertension; Inequity; International; Prevention; Regions; Treatment.

© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.