Document Type



Community Health Sciences; Medicine


Background: Uncontrolled blood pressure (BP) is a leading risk factor for death and disability in South Asia. We aimed to determine the cross-country variation, and the factors associated with uncontrolled BP among adults treated for hypertension in rural South Asia.
Methods: We enrolled 1718 individuals aged ≥40 years treated for hypertension in a cross-sectional study from rural communities in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Multivariable logistic regression model was used to determine the factors associated with uncontrolledBP (systolic BP ≥140 mmHg or diastolic BP ≥90 mmHg).
Results: Among hypertensive individuals, 58.0% (95% confidence interval 55.7, 60.4) had uncontrolled BP: 52.8% (49.0, 56.6) in Bangladesh, 70.6% (65.7, 75.1) in Pakistan, and 56.5% (52.7, 60.1) in Sri Lanka. The odds (odds ratio (95% confidence interval)) of uncontrolled BP were significantly higher in individuals with lower wealth index (1.17 (1.02, 1.35)); single vs married (1.46 (1.10, 1.93)); higher log urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (1.41 (1.24, 1.60)); lower estimated glomerular filtration rate (1.23 (1.01, 1.49)); low vs high adherence to antihypertensive medication (1.50 (1.16, 1.94)); and Pakistan (2.91 (1.60, 5.28)) vs Sri Lanka. However, the odds were lower in those with vs without self-reported kidney disease (0.51 (0.28, 0.91)); and receiving vs not receiving statins (0.62 (0.44, 0.87)).
Conclusions: The majority of individuals with treated hypertension have uncontrolled BP in rural Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka with significant disparities among and within countries. Urgent public health efforts are needed to improve access and adherence to antihypertensive medications in disadvantaged populations in rural South Asia.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

American Journal of Hypertension