Though some data from in-hospital or selected populations are available, there are no studies reporting community-level prevalence of Severe Hypertension (SH) in sub-Saharan Africa.


Study participants were recruited within the framework of The Heart Fund's global health initiative. Data were collected in August 2016 from 6 randomly selected sites, ensuring representativeness of both urban and rural areas. Blood pressure (BP) was measured twice, 10  min apart, after optimal resting time. SH was defined as systolic blood pressure ≥180 and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥110  mmHg  at both readings. Demographics and data on cardiovascular history/risk factors were collected in the field.


Among 1785 subjects examined, 1182 aged between 18 and 75 years were included in this analysis. The prevalence of SH was 14.1% (12.5% females vs 17.0% males; P  =  .03) (Fig. 1). Among participants with severe hypertension, 28.9% were either undiagnosed or untreated. Alarmingly, subjects at high cardiovascular risk (age  ≥  60 years and/or obese) had even higher prevalence of overall SH (29.6% and 24.9%, respectively) as well as undiagnosed/untreated SH (29.4% and 24.6%). SH prevalence was almost double in urban compared to rural areas (17.0% vs. 9.2%, P  =  .02); however, conversely, undiagnosed/untreated SH was significantly higher in rural areas (50.4% vs 21.9%).


(s): Our community-based study revealed very high prevalence of SH among adults in Abidjan area, with almost one out of every seven having SH. This underscores SH as a growing public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Bamba Gaye, Anne-Laure Janeczek, Kumar Narayanan, Roland N'Guetta, MaximeVignac, Virginie Gallardo, Xavier Jouven, David Luu, Eloi Marijon

Paris Descartes University, Paris, France / Global Health Unit, Inserm U970, Paris Cardiovascular Research Center, Paris, France / The Heart Fund, New York, NY, USA / Cardiology Department, Maxcure Hospital, Hyderabad, India / Abidjan Heart Institute, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire / Cardiology Department, European Georges Pompidou Hospital, Paris, France