Hypertension and Related Cardiovascular Disease Burden in China

Ann Glob Health. Mar-Apr 2016;82(2):227-33. doi: 10.1016/j.aogh.2016.02.002.


Background: With rapid economic development, urbanization, and an aging population, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) have become the leading cause of death in China.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to provide a comprehensive review on the prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension (HTN) as well as blood pressure (BP)-related morbidity and mortality of CVD in Chinese adults over time.

Findings: The prevalence of HTN in China is high and increasing. Recent estimates are variable but indicate 33.6% (35.3% in men and 32% in women) or 335.8 million (178.6 million men and 157.2 million women) of the Chinese adult population had HTN in 2010, which represents a significant increase from previous surveys. BP-related CVD remains the leading cause of death in Chinese adults, with stroke being the predominant cause of cardiovascular deaths. Of those with HTN, 33.4% (30.4% in men and 36.7% in women) were aware of their condition, 23.9% (20.6% in men and 27.7% in women) were treated, and only 3.9% (3.5% in men and 4.3% in women) were controlled to the currently recommended target of BP <140/90 mm Hg. Awareness and treatment of HTN have improved over time, but HTN control has not. Geographic differences in the prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of HTN are evident, both in terms of a north-south gradient and urban-rural disparity.

Conclusions: The prevalence of HTN is high and increasing, while the control rate is low in Chinese adults. Combatting HTN and BP-related morbidity and mortality will require a comprehensive approach at national and local levels. The major challenge moving forward is to develop and implement effective, practical, and sustainable prevention and treatment strategies in China.

Keywords: China; cardiovascular disease; control; hypertension; mortality; prevalence; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / ethnology*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / ethnology*
  • Hypertension / therapy
  • Male
  • Prevalence