2018 Volume 13 Issue 1 Pages 64-71
Objective: The burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) is increasing in China, together with economic development and social changes. The prevalence of risk factors for NCDs, such as overweight/obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia, is reported to be high even among poor residents of rural areas. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of hypertension among elderly adults in rural Northeast China and the proportion with controlled hypertension among those on antihypertensive medication (hypertension control rate). We also aimed to examine the association of hypertension control with health facilities that provide treatment.
Methods: We conducted a community-based cross-sectional study in six rural villages of Northeast China from February to early March, 2012. We interviewed 1593 adults aged 50–69 years and measured their blood pressure. We examined the differences in mean blood pressure between participants who obtained antihypertensive medication from village clinics and those who obtained medication from other sources, using analysis of covariance adjusted for several covariates.
Results: The prevalence of hypertension among participants was as high as 63.3%, but the hypertension control rate was only 8.4%. Most villagers (98.1%) were not registered in the chronic disease treatment scheme of the public rural health insurance. The mean systolic blood pressure, adjusted for the covariates, of participants who obtained antihypertensive medication from village clinics was significantly lower than that of participants who obtained medication from township hospitals (by 16.5 mmHg) or from private pharmacies (by 7.3 mmHg).
Conclusion: The prevalence of hypertension was high and the hypertension control rate low among elderly villagers during the cold season. As treatment at village clinics, which villagers can access during the cold season seems to be more effective than self-medication or treatment at distant hospitals, improving the quality of treatment in village clinics is urgently needed.