Inequalities in Undiagnosed Hypertension Among Adult Nepalese Population: Evidence from a Nationally Representative Survey

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© 2020 Introduction: With one in every five adults suffering from hypertension and three-fifth of these patients undiagnosed, Nepal faces an enormous problem of undiagnosed hypertension. This study aims to assess the prevalence and determinants of undiagnosed hypertension in Nepal and to examine the extent of socioeconomic inequalities in undiagnosed hypertension in Nepal. Methods: This study used the nationally representative Nepal Demographic and Health Survey 2016 data. Undiagnosed hypertension was defined having systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥140 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) ≥90 mmHg and being told two or more times by health professionals to lower/control blood pressure. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used for identifying determinants associated with undiagnosed hypertension. Further, socioeconomic inequalities in the prevalence of undiagnosed hypertension were estimated using Concentration Index (CI). Results: The study results show that out of total 2831 hypertensive patients, 1611 (56.9%) were undiagnosed. In the adjusted model, older age, overweight/obesity, higher wealth quintiles had less odds of being undiagnosed. Male gender and residing in Province 7 had higher odds of being undiagnosed. Overall CI showed that poor patients were disproportionately affected by undiagnosed hypertension (CI: 0.21, Standard Error (SE) of CI: 0.03). The poor (Q1)-to-rich (Q5) ratio was 1.57 showed again that poorest patients in Nepal had higher prevalence of undiagnosed hypertension than richest patients. Conclusion: Poor patients are disproportionately affected by undiagnosed hypertension in Nepal. Awareness should be created specially among the poor wealth quintiles regarding checking blood pressure regularly. Innovative implementation strategies required to be developed to detect undiagnosed case and provide treatment accordingly.