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Hypertension treatment cascade among men and women of reproductive age group in India: analysis of National Family Health Survey-5 (2019–2021)
Authors: Visweswara Rao Guthi, Sujith Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar, Nagaraj Kondagunta, Sonika Raj, Sonu Goel, and Pratyashee Ojah
Source: Lancet Regional Health - Southeast Asia, Published online, Article 100271; DOI:
Topic(s): Hypertension
Country: Asia
Published: SEP 2023
Abstract: Background Only a proportion of adults with hypertension are diagnosed and receive recommended prescriptions despite the availability of inexpensive and efficacious treatment. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of different stages of hypertension treatment cascade among the reproductive age groups in India at the national and state levels. We also identified the predictors of different stages of the hypertension treatment cascade. Methods We used the nationally representative data from National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5. We included all the males (15–54 years) and females aged 15–49. Socio-demographic factors, anthropometric measurements, habits, comorbid conditions, and healthcare access stratified the stages of the hypertension treatment cascade among hypertensives. We used multinomial logistic regression to identify the determinants of the treatment cascade levels. Findings We had data from 1,267,786 individuals. The national prevalence of hypertension was 18.3% (95% CI: 18.1%–18.4%). Men (21.6%, 95% CI: 21.5%–21.7%) were found to have a higher prevalence as compared to women (14.8%, 95% CI: 14.7%–14.9%). Among hypertensive individuals, 70.5% (95% CI: 70.3%–70.7%) had ever received a BP measurement (“screened”), 34.3% (95% CI: 34.1%–34.5%) had been diagnosed prior to the survey (“aware”), 13.7% (95% CI: 13.5%–13.8%) reported taking a prescribed anti-hypertensive drug (“under treatment”), and 7.8% (95% CI: 7.7%–7.9%) had their BP under control (“controlled”). Males, illiterates, poor, never married, residents of rural areas, smokers/tobacco users, and alcoholic users were less likely to be in any of the treatment cascades. Interpretation The prevalence of hypertension in India is high. The "Rule of half" of hypertension does not apply to India as the proportion of people screened, aware of their hypertension status, treated, and controlled are lower than 50% at each stage. Program managers must improve access to hypertension diagnosis and treatment, especially among men in rural areas and populations with lower household wealth.