Previous studies in Nepal noted an alarming increase in prevalence of hypertension. However, these studies were geographically sparse and coverage of population, mostly limited to single site. The current study fills this gap by examining the current status of prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of hypertension, using recently collected population-based data.
We used the Nepal Demographic Health Survey 2016 data. Sample selection was based on stratified two-stage cluster sampling in rural areas and three stages in urban areas. Blood pressure was measured in all women and men aged 15 and above.
A total of 13 598 participants: 5593 men and 8005 women aged 15–69 had their blood pressures measured. Overall, 18% (95% CI 16.7–19.2) of the participants aged 15–69 years were hypertensive. Prevalence of hypertension was more among men (22%; 95% CI 21.1–23.5), aged 45–69 years (34%), with no formal education (22%), richest quintile (25%), formerly/ever married (32%), urban dwellers (19%), residents of Province 4 (24%), residents of hills (21%), and obese (41.6%). Among the total hypertensive individuals, only 38% were aware of their hypertensive status and 18% were taking antihypertensive medication. Only half of the hypertensive participants on treatment (52%) had their blood pressure under control.
This nationally representative survey data showed that the prevalence of hypertension is high in Nepal, whereas its awareness, treatment and control rates are low at entire population level.