Gender differences in hypertension-free life expectancy in Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, although some research on health expectancy exists, life expectancies with and without hypertension (HTN) have never been computed. We examined gender differences in the prevalence of hypertension and Hypertension-Free Life Expectancy (HFLE) in Bangladesh. We used data from a nationally representative survey of 7,864 people aged 35 and older. We classified an individual as having HTN if s/he had blood pressure levels ≥140 mmHg systolic blood pressure or ≥90 mmHg diastolic blood pressure, or s/he was at the time on antihypertensive medication. The Sullivan method was employed to compute HFLE. We found that women have HTN in significantly higher percentages (32% of women vs. 19% of men), and the prevalence of HTN increases as age increases for both men and women. Among individuals with HTN, individuals unaware of HTN make up the largest group, followed by those with uncontrolled HTN, controlled HTN, and those who are aware of HTN but not in treatment. Compared with men, women could expect shorter HFLE at all ages, in terms of both number and proportion of years. To increase HFLE as well as quality of life and to prevent and control HTN in general and unawareness of HTN and uncontrolled HTN in particular, special care and attention should be given to women and older adults. The findings shed important light on the role of HTN in lowering the quality of life in Bangladesh.
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