Determinants of Uncontrolled Hypertension in Rural Communities in South Asia-Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Journal Article (Multicenter Study;Journal Article)


Uncontrolled blood pressure (BP) is a leading risk factor for death and disability in South Asia. We aimed to determine the cross-country variation, and the factors associated with uncontrolled BP among adults treated for hypertension in rural South Asia.


We enrolled 1,718 individuals aged ≥40 years treated for hypertension in a cross-sectional study from rural communities in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Multivariable logistic regression model was used to determine the factors associated with uncontrolled BP (systolic BP ≥140 mmHg or diastolic BP ≥90 mmHg).


Among hypertensive individuals, 58.0% (95% confidence interval (CI) 55.7, 60.4) had uncontrolled BP: 52.8% (49.0, 56.6) in Bangladesh, 70.6% (65.7, 75.1) in Pakistan, and 56.5% (52.7, 60.1) in Sri Lanka. The odds (odds ratio (95% CI)) of uncontrolled BP were significantly higher in individuals with lower wealth index (1.17 (1.02, 1.35)); single vs. married (1.46 (1.10, 1.93)); higher log urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (1.41 (1.24, 1.60)); lower estimated glomerular filtration rate (1.23 (1.01, 1.49)); low vs. high adherence to antihypertensive medication (1.50 (1.16, 1.94)); and Pakistan (2.91 (1.60, 5.28)) vs. Sri Lanka. However, the odds were lower in those with vs. without self-reported kidney disease (0.51 (0.28, 0.91)); and receiving vs. not receiving statins (0.62 (0.44, 0.87)).


The majority of individuals with treated hypertension have uncontrolled BP in rural Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka with significant disparities among and within countries. Urgent public health efforts are needed to improve access and adherence to antihypertensive medications in disadvantaged populations in rural South Asia.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Jafar, TH; Gandhi, M; Jehan, I; Naheed, A; de Silva, HA; Shahab, H; Alam, D; Luke, N; Wee Lim, C; COBRA-BPS Study Group,

Published Date

  • October 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 31 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 1205 - 1214

PubMed ID

  • 29701801

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6188532

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1941-7225

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0895-7061

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/ajh/hpy071


  • eng