Hypertension among adults in Bangladesh: evidence from a national cross-sectional survey

BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2016 Jan 25;16:22. doi: 10.1186/s12872-016-0197-3.


Background: Hypertension is an increasing problem in Southeast Asia, particularly in Bangladesh. Although some epidemiological studies on hypertension have been conducted in Bangladesh, the factors associated with hypertension in this nation remain unclear. We aimed to determine the factors associated with hypertension among the adults in Bangladesh.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study using data from the nationally representative 2011 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS). A total of 7,839 (3,964 women and 3,875 men) adults aged 35 years and older who participated in the survey was included. Hypertension was defined by a systolic blood pressure ≥ 140 mmHg and/or, diastolic blood pressure ≥ 90 mmHg and/or, receipt of an anti-hypertensive medication at time of the survey. The degree of association between the risk factors and the outcome was assessed by the odd ratio (OR) obtained from the bivariate and multivariable logistic regression models.

Results: The overall prevalence of hypertension was 26.4 %, and the prevalence was higher in women (32.4%) than men (20.3%). Study participants with the age group of 60-69 years had higher odds of having hypertension (AOR: 3.77, 95% CI: 3.01-4.72) than the age group 35-39 years. Moreover, individuals who had higher educational attainment (AOR: 1.63, 95% C.I: 1.25-2.14) and higher wealth status (AOR = 1.91, 95% CI: 1.54-2.38) had higher odds of having hypertension than the individuals with no education and lower social status, respectively. The analysis also showed that high BMI (AOR: 2.19, 95% C.I: 1.87-2.57) and having diabetes (AOR: 1.54, 95% C.I: 1.31-1.83) were associated with the increasing risk of hypertension.

Conclusions: Our study shows that the risk of hypertension was significantly associated with older age, sex, education, place of residence, working status, wealth index, BMI, and diabetes. Moreover, hypertension is largely untreated, especially in rural settings. The health system needs to develop appropriate strategies including early diagnosis, awareness via mass media, and health education programs for changing lifestyles should be initiated for older age, wealthy, and/or higher educated individuals in Bangladesh. Moreover, area-specific longitudinal research is necessary to find out the underlying causes of regional variations.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bangladesh / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Income / statistics & numerical data*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Class*
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data


  • Antihypertensive Agents