Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

About a third of Cuban adults have hypertension but most are under-treated leading to excess cardiovascular mortality, a new study in the Lancet Public Health has shown.

The Cuban health system’s focus on primary health care and preventative medicine has delivered substantial reductions in child and infant mortality, but premature death from the chronic disease of middle age remains high. Hypertension control in primary care has been given priority as a cost-effective means of addressing premature cardiovascular mortality in Cuba. However, there is little evidence from large-scale studies on the prevalence and management of hypertension in the country, and no direct evidence of the expected benefit of such efforts on cardiovascular mortality.

Researchers conducted a large prospective study of 150,000 adults, established by Dr Alfredo Dueñas Herrera in the late 1990s in collaboration with CTSU. A subset of participants were resurveyed in 2006-08 and all were followed up for mortality until 2016.

The study found that about a third of people in the study had hypertension, of whom two thirds had been previously diagnosed. Just over three quarters of those with diagnosed hypertension were being treated, the majority with only one hypertension medication. However, blood pressure was controlled in just a third of those receiving treatment. Uncontrolled hypertension was associated with an approximate doubling in risk of cardiovascular death and accounted for around 20% of premature cardiovascular deaths.

Professor Sarah Lewington said that although levels of hypertension diagnosis and treatment were comparable to those in some high-income countries, the proportion of people whose blood pressure was controlled was low. The under-treatment of hypertension might in part reflect the limited availability of blood pressure lowering medication, indeed the baseline survey was conducted immediately following a time of economic crisis in Cuba that began in 1991.

“As well as reducing hypertension prevalence, public health programmes in Cuba should aim to monitor and improve blood pressure control in people with diagnosed hypertension to prevent premature cardiovascular deaths”, said Dr Ben Lacey a public health consultant and co-author of the paper.

 

 

 

 

 

Similar stories

Earliest origins of the forming heart identified

CRE Research

The earliest known progenitor of the outermost layer of the heart has been characterised for the first time and linked to the development of other critical cell types in the developing heart in a new paper from the Srinivas group led by BHF Immediate Fellow Dr Richard Tyser.

Professor Sir Rory Collins awarded the MRC Millennium Medal 2020

CRE Research

Professor Sir Rory Collins, Head of the Nuffield Department of Population Health, and Principal Investigator and Chief Executive of UK Biobank, has been awarded the Medical Research Council (MRC) Millennium Medal 2020, the MRC’s most prestigious personal award.

New MRI technique could detect early signs of heart failure in cancer patients following chemotherapy

CRE Publication Research

New research led by Oxford BHF CRE Intermediate Transition Fellow Dr Kerstin Timm shows that a recently developed imaging technique pioneered by the Tyler Group can detect early metabolic changes in the heart caused by a commonly used chemotherapy drug, which is known to increase risk of heart failure in cancer survivors.

Two major BHF awards to Neil Herring pave the way to new treatments for heart attack patients

CRE Research

Associate Professor Neil Herring has been awarded a Senior Clinical Research Fellowship and a Project grant from the British Heart Foundation to further critical research into the mechanisms behind heart attacks and heart failure and potential drugs to combat them. Given the 50% reduction in research investment this year from the BHF due to the impact of COVID-19, Prof Herring is to be congratulated on these awards.