Understanding the existing socioeconomic gradients of hypertension and how they are anticipated to alter as nations improve economically is necessary for effective equity-focused health policies for the illness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). For a cross-sectional study, researchers sought to understand how socioeconomic gradients in hypertension prevalence are related to a nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and how hypertension prevalence in LMICs varies by family wealth and individual education.

Data from 76 LMICs’ nationally representative household surveys were combined. They divided the prevalence of hypertension by quintiles of family income and education, and they used regression models to account for age and gender.

In the analysis, they included 1,211,386 individuals. When comparing the prevalence of hypertension across all nations, quintiles of household wealth and education seemed to be comparable. Only Southeast Asia had a blatantly positive correlation between high blood pressure and the quintiles of family income or education. In rural regions and among males, nations with lower GDP per capita showed, on average, a more favorable connection between hypertension and education and household wealth quintile than did countries with greater GDP per capita.

Even the least educated and wealthiest groups had a significant hypertension prevalence, and socioeconomic group differences in hypertension prevalence were often minimal. As LMICs experience economic growth, the cross-sectional interaction studies of GDP per capita with the socioeconomic gradients of hypertension implied that people in the lowest socioeconomic categories might see an increase in the prevalence of hypertension.

Reference: jacc.org/doi/10.1016/j.jacc.2022.05.044