Reducing Cardiovascular Disease Inequities

Composite image or Dorit Stein on top left and Stéphane Verguet on the bottom right with abstract images on the side

Dorit Stein, Global Health and Population (GHP) PhD candidate, and CHDS faculty Stéphane Verguet, simulated the potential health equity impact of improving hypertension management in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in a recent publication in Nature Medicine. Conducted with co-authors from the GHP Project on Access to Care for Cardiometabolic Diseases (HPACC), the analysis modeled the impact of improving hypertension diagnosis and treatment on cardiovascular disease risk and cases across socioeconomic groups using individual-level data from nearly 110,000 people across 44 countries living with hypertension. Previous projections of improved hypertension management focused on average population health impacts and did not consider baseline disparities in hypertension diagnosis and treatment levels.

This study highlights considerable disparities in hypertension management across socioeconomic groups within countries and shows that cardiovascular disease risk disparities can be reduced hypertension by targeting diagnosis and treatment improvements to poorer performing socioeconomic groups. Conversely, hypertension management programs may increase socioeconomic-based cardiovascular disease inequalities if targeting is not implemented. The authors conclude that global efforts to improve health systems performance for managing hypertension should also include efforts to design and implement equity-sensitive hypertension management programs across different country contexts.

Learn more: Read the publication, Hypertension Care Cascades and Reducing Inequities in Cardiovascular Disease in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Learn more: Read the HSPH interview
Learn more: Read about the GHP Project on Access to Care for Cardiometabolic Diseases (HPACC)
Learn more: Link to the simulation code on GitHub

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