Diseases of the rich? The social patterning of hypertension in six low- and middle-income countries

Peter Lloyd-Sherlock, Nadia Minicuci, Barbara Corso, John Beard, Somnath Chatterji, Shah Ebrahim

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Abstract

This paper identifies a general perception among development policymakers that health conditions such as hypertension and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) disproportionately affect privileged socioeconomic groups. The paper argues that this framing of the issue is derived more from established discourses and institutional dynamics than from evidence. The paper then assesses the validity of this view, with reference to the social patterning of hypertension in China, Ghana, India, Mexico, the Russian Federation and South Africa. Using data for adults aged 50+ from the WHO Survey of Ageing and Adult Health, it finds the social patterning of hypertension prevalence varies markedly between the study countries, but that hypertension awareness and control rates are generally lower for less-advantaged groups. This reveals a need to challenge misleading representations of NCD pandemics and for interventions that specifically target the poor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827–842
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Development Research
Volume29
Issue number4
Early online date14 Oct 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

Keywords

  • health
  • hypertension
  • equity
  • older people
  • policy

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