Based on data from national surveys, the prevalence of hypertension rests at 40–60% in Japan, the USA, and in European countries. This suggests there has been little progress in the prevention of hypertension in even high-income countries despite their well-functioning health systems. In particular, compared with the USA and European countries, the improvement in awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension has been relatively low in Japan. For example, the rates of hypertension awareness, treatment, and control were observed, respectively, in 60–70%, 50–60%, and 20–30% of Japanese compared with 80–90%, 70–80%, and 50–60% of US citizens in the years around 2015. The lower proportions in Japan might be explained by the slower progress in lowering the accepted thresholds for diagnosis of hypertension and initiation of treatment compared with Western countries; however, the underlying reasons for the differences warrant further study. The high prevalence (>40%) of uncontrolled hypertension in even high-income countries has major implications for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Health policy and research on early control of high blood pressure at the individual and public health levels will contribute to decreases in the prevalence of hypertension. Furthermore, proactive treatment and strict adherence to intensified antihypertensive treatment guidelines will more effectively achieve targeted blood pressure levels. In this context, it is important to continue to carefully monitor and compare trends in hypertension across countries.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine