Burden of hypertension in China over the past decades: Systematic analysis of prevalence, treatment and control of hypertension

Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2016 May;23(8):792-800. doi: 10.1177/2047487315617105. Epub 2015 Nov 24.


Aims: To review comprehensively the prevalence, treatment and control of hypertension; and to estimate the burden of hypertension in China, thereby aiding Chinese health policies for better prevention and control of this condition.

Methods and results: PubMed, EMbase, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang and Chongqing VIP databases were searched for population-based studies published in English and Chinese that described prevalence, treatment and control of hypertension in China, as well as deaths and disabilities attributed to hypertension. All research papers were published between January 1999 and May 2014. Data from 178 studies involving over 2,901,464 participants covering 30 provinces were pooled. Overall, rates of prevalence, treatment and control of hypertension were 28.9%, 35.3% and 13.4% in China. A statistically significant association was observed between temperature gradient and the prevalence of hypertension. There were 10,667 (95% confidence interval 8063-13,345) disability-adjusted life years per 100,000 people. In total, 78.3% of disability-adjusted life years were from years lived with disability and 21.7% from years of life lost due to premature mortality.

Conclusions: Although there has been a slight improvement in rates for the treatment and control of hypertension, these rates were still suboptimal, especially for men and people living in rural areas. Low and middle-income provinces had a comparatively huge burden of hypertension, which is a considerable risk factor for reducing life expectancy. Our analysis may be helpful in generating a current overview of hypertension in China.

Keywords: Hypertension; burden of hypertension; control rate; prevalence; treatment rate.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • China / epidemiology
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Disease Management*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / economics
  • Hypertension* / epidemiology
  • Hypertension* / therapy
  • Prevalence
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Risk Factors