Background Lack of nationwide evidence on awareness, treatment, and control (ATC) of hypertension among older adults in India impeded targeted management of this condition. We aimed to estimate rates of hypertension ATC in the older population and to assess differences in these rates across sociodemographic groups and states in India. Methods and findings We used a nationally representative survey of individuals aged 45 years and over and their spouses in all Indian states (except one) in 2017 to 2018. We identified hypertension by blood pressure (BP) measurement ≥140/90 mm Hg or self-reported diagnosis if also taking medication or observing salt/diet restriction to control BP. We distinguished those who (i) reported diagnosis ("aware"); (ii) reported taking medication or being under salt/diet restriction to control BP ("treated"); and (iii) had measured systolic BP <140 and diastolic BP <90 ("controlled"). We estimated age-sex adjusted hypertension prevalence and rates of ATC by consumption quintile, education, age, sex, urban-rural, caste, religion, marital status, living arrangement, employment status, health insurance, and state. We used concentration indices to measure socioeconomic inequalities and multivariable logistic regression to estimate fully adjusted differences in these outcomes. Study limitations included reliance on BP measurement on a single occasion, missing measurements of BP for some participants, and lack of data on nonadherence to medication. The 64,427 participants in the analysis sample had a median age of 57 years: 58% were female, and 70% were rural dwellers. We estimated hypertension prevalence to be 41.9% (95% CI 41.0 to 42.9). Among those with hypertension, we estimated that 54.4% (95% CI 53.1 to 55.7), 50.8% (95% CI 49.5 to 52.0), and 28.8% (95% CI 27.4 to 30.1) were aware, treated, and controlled, respectively. Across states, adjusted rates of ATC ranged from 27.5% (95% CI 22.2 to 32.8) to 75.9% (95% CI 70.8 to 81.1), from 23.8% (95% CI 17.6 to 30.1) to 74.9% (95% CI 69.8 to 79.9), and from 4.6% (95% CI 1.1 to 8.1) to 41.9% (95% CI 36.8 to 46.9), respectively. Age-sex adjusted rates were lower (p < 0.001) in poorer, less educated, and socially disadvantaged groups, as well as for males, rural residents, and the employed. Among individuals with hypertension, the richest fifth were 8.5 percentage points (pp) (95% CI 5.3 to 11.7; p < 0.001), 8.9 pp (95% CI 5.7 to 12.0; p < 0.001), and 7.1 pp (95% CI 4.2 to 10.1; p < 0.001) more likely to be aware, treated, and controlled, respectively, than the poorest fifth. Conclusions Hypertension prevalence was high, and ATC of the condition were low among older adults in India. Inequalities in these indicators pointed to opportunities to target hypertension management more effectively and equitably on socially disadvantaged groups.
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© 2021 Mohanty et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.