Hypertension in the developing world: challenges and opportunities

Am J Kidney Dis. 2010 Mar;55(3):590-8. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2009.06.044. Epub 2009 Dec 5.


Hypertension is a major public health problem and a leading cause of death and disability in developing countries. One-quarter of the world's adult population has hypertension, and this is likely to increase to 29% by 2025. Modeled projections indicate an increase to 1.15 billion hypertensive patients by 2025 in developing countries. There is variability in the global prevalence of hypertension: hypertension is present in approximately 35% of the Latin American population, 20%-30% of the Chinese and Indian population, and approximately 14% in Sub-Saharan African countries. This heterogeneity has been attributed to several factors, including urbanization with its associated changes in lifestyle, racial ethnic differences, nutritional status, and birth weight. Compounding this high burden of hypertension is a lack of awareness and insufficient treatment in those with hypertension. The public health response to this challenge should drive greater promotion of awareness efforts, studies of risk factors for hypertension, and understanding of the impact of lifestyle changes. Also important are efforts to develop multipronged strategies for hypertension management in developing nations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Developing Countries
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / prevention & control
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prevalence