Prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of hypertension in rural and urban communities in Latin American countries

Pablo Lamelas, Rafael Diaz, Andres Orlandini, Alvaro Avezum, Gustavo Oliveira, Antonio Mattos, Fernando Lanas, Pamela Seron, Maria J. Oliveros, Patricio Lopez-Jaramillo, Johanna Otero, Paul Camacho, Jaime Miranda, Antonio Bernabe-Ortiz, German Malaga, Vilma Irazola, Laura Gutierrez, Adolfo Rubinstein, Noelia Castellana, Sumathy RangarajanSalim Yusuf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Objectives: The objective is to describe hypertension (HTN) prevalence, awareness, treatment and control in urban and rural communities in Latin America to inform public and policy-makers. Methods: Cross-sectional analysis from urban (n=111) and rural (n=93) communities including 33 276 participants from six Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay) were included. HTN was defined as self-reported HTN on blood pressure (BP) medication or average BP over 140/90 mmHg, awareness as self-reported HTN, and controlled as those with BP under 140/90 mmHg. Results: Mean age was 52 years, 60% were Female and 32% belonged to rural communities. HTN prevalence was 44.0%, with the lowest rates in Peru (17.7%) and the highest rates in Brazil (52.5%). 58.9% were aware of HTN diagnosis and 53.3% were receiving treatment. Prevalence of HTN were higher in urban (44.8%) than rural (42.1%) communities in all countries. Most participants who were aware of HTN were receiving medical treatment (90.5%), but only 37.6% of patients receiving medical treatment had their BP controlled (<140/<90 mmHg), with the rates being higher in urban (39.6%) than in rural (32.4%) communities. The rate of use of two or more drugs was low [36.4%, lowest in Argentina (29.6%) and highest in Brazil (44.6%)]. Statin use was low (12.3%), especially in rural areas (7.0%). Most modifiable risk factors were higher in people with HTN than people without HTN. Conclusion: HTN prevalence is high but BP control is low in Latin America, with marked differences between countries and between urban and rural settings. There is an urgent need for systematic approaches for better detection, treatment optimization and risk factor modification among those with HTN in Latin America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1813-1821
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Latin America


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