DESK REVIEWS | The proportion of the population living with high blood pressure (hypertension)?

DESK REVIEW | The proportion of the population living with high blood pressure (hypertension)?

According to the most recent version of the National Health Survey (PNS 2013, in Portuguese), 21.4% of the Brazilian population above 18 years were diagnosed with hypertension. A larger proportion of women (24.2%) self-reported the diagnosis compared with men (18.3%). The proportion of people living with hypertension increased with age reaching a peak of 55.0% among people aged 75 and over, followed by the proportion of 52.7% among those between 65 and 74 years old. Among those 60 and 64 years old 44.4% had a diagnosis of hypertension and among those aged 30 and 59 years it was 20.6%. Hypertension was mostly diagnosed among black people (24.2%) followed by white (22.1%) and mixed race people (20.0%) (Brazilian Ministry of Health, 2013b).


Brazilian Ministry of Health. (2013b). Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde 2013: Percepção do estado de saúde, estilos de vida e doenças crônicas.

A cross-sectional study examining data (811,917 participants) from the National Family Health Survey 2015-2016 reported that the age adjusted prevalence rate of hypertension was 11.3% in India in persons aged between 15-49 (Ghosh and Kumar, 2019). The study also reported variations in hypertension age-adjusted prevalence across states, ranging from 8.2% in Kerala to 20.3% in Sikkim (Ghosh and Kumar, 2019).

Another study based on a national level survey carried out in 2015 examining blood pressure across 24 states and UTs (180,335 participants had their blood pressure recorded) in India, reported overall prevalence of hypertension as 30.7% (95% CI: 30.5, 30.9) (Ramakrishnan et al., 2019).


Ghosh, S., & Kumar, M. (2019). Prevalence and associated risk factors of hypertension among persons aged 15–49 in India: a cross-sectional study. BMJ open, 9(12), e029714.

Ramakrishnan, S., Zachariah, G., Gupta, K., Rao, J. S., Mohanan, P. P., Venugopal, K., … & Banerjee, S. C. A. (2019). Prevalence of hypertension among Indian adults: results from the great India blood pressure survey. Indian heart journal, 71(4), 309-313.

There are two different estimates of the proportion of the population living with hypertension in Indonesia. One estimate suggests that prevalence of hypertension among people older than 18 years is 8.8% (Riset Kesehatan Dasar (Basic Health Survey). This estimate is based on clinical diagnosis or current use of hypertension medication. The second estimate is based on blood pressure measures taken as part of the survey and suggests a significantly higher proportion (34.1%) (Ministry of Health Republic of Indonesia, 2018). It is important to consider the probability of white-coat hypertension (people exhibiting higher blood pressure than normal when examined in medical settings) in interpreting this data.


Ministry of Health Republic of Indonesia. (2018). Riset Kesehatan Dasar 2018. Jakarta: Lembaga Penerbit Badan Penelitian dan Pengembangan Kesehatan. Available at:

According to the Kenya STEPwise Survey for Non-Communicable Diseases Risk Factors 2015 Report, those who had raised blood pressure (defined as having Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) of >=140 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) >=90 mm Hg) was 23.8%. Those with severe hypertension (SBP of >=160 mm Hg and/or DBP >=100 mm Hg) was 8% (MoH-Kenya et al., 2015). Moreover, Kenyans with high blood pressure or on medication revealed a significantly higher prevalence among rural residents (25.3%). Highest prevalence was also seen among the middle-class (about 30%) compared to approximately 20% for individuals in the lowest quintile in terms of socio-economic status.


MoH-Kenya, KNBS, & WHO. (2015). Kenya STEPwise Survey for Non Communicable Diseases Risk Factors 2015 Report. MoH-Kenya.


Please refer to Table 12 under part

Prevalence of hypertension in the South African Demographic Health Survey (DHS) in 2016 was 48.2%, with crude prevalence estimated between 6-18% across the 9 provinces (Kandala, et al., 2021). About 46% of women and 44% of men have hypertension (systolic blood pressure above 140mmHg), rising with age and most common among white, followed by coloured men and women (StatsSA, 2017b).


Kandala, N.B., Nnanatu, C.C., Dukhi, N., Sewpaul, R., Davids, A., Reddy, S.P. Mapping the Burden of Hypertension in South Africa: A Comparative Analysis of the National 2012 SANHANES and the 2016 Demographic and Health Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 5445.

StatsSA. (2017b). South Africa Demographic and Health Survey: Key Indicator Report 2016. Available from: