Published online Aug 26, 2013. doi: 10.13105/wjma.v1.i2.83
Revised: July 18, 2013
Accepted: August 4, 2013
Published online: August 26, 2013
AIM: To determine the prevalence of hypertension in the urban and rural population of India.
METHODS: Relevant studies were identified through computer based and manual searches using MEDLINE/ PubMed, Google scholar, EMBASE, Cochrane Library and reference lists of prevalence studies from January 2000 to June 2012. A total of 12 studies were included in the meta-analysis of hypertension in urban India and 10 studies in the analysis of hypertension in rural India after applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Estimates of prevalence were calculated using the random effect model for meta-analysis.
RESULTS: The electronic search using appropriate keywords identified 177 titles for prevalence of hypertension in urban India, of which 165 were excluded, and 133 titles for prevalence in rural India, of which 123 were excluded after applying the inclusion criteria. Twelve studies including 125333 subjects were analyzed to assess the prevalence of hypertension in the urban Indian population, whereas ten studies including 24800 subjects were analyzed to determine the prevalence of hypertension in the rural Indian population. The prevalence of hypertension in the urban population was estimated to be 40.8% (95%CI: 40.5%-41.0%) and that of hypertension in the rural population was 17.9% (95%CI: 17.5%-18.3%). It is evident that the prevalence of hypertension is significantly higher in the urban population of India compared to the rural.
CONCLUSION: Current evidence suggests that policies and interventions should be prioritized for reduction of hypertension in the adult Indian population, especially the urban population.
Core tip: A meta-analysis of prevalence studies on hypertension in India from January 2000 to June 2012 reveals a high prevalence of hypertension in the urban (40.8%) as well as rural population (17.9%). The prevalence of hypertension is markedly higher in the urban population compared to the rural population, but the prevalence in the rural population is also a matter of concern with almost every fifth individual at risk. This is indicative of the epidemiological transition, which must raise an alarm for policy makers and health care professionals. Primordial and primary prevention of hypertension can bring about a substantial reduction in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality which occurs as a consequence of hypertension.