21 September 2020 – New York: Controlling high blood pressure is an effective way to prevent heart disease and save lives, but in many low- and middle-income countries, cost is a barrier to hypertension treatment programs. In a new study published in BMJ Global Health, experts from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, RTI International and Johns Hopkins University reviewed economic evaluations of hypertension treatment strategies, concluding that significant evidence proves hypertension control interventions are a cost-effective way to prevent premature cardiovascular disease in low- and middle-income countries.
“Too many people in the world are living with hypertension that remains undiagnosed, untreated, and uncontrolled,” said Dr. Andrew Moran, Director of Global Hypertension Programs at Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies. “This review found that hypertension control is generally a high value investment in better health in the low- and middle-income countries where most people with hypertension live.”
The review found that most interventions which avoided costs associated with disability-adjusted life years (DALY, or years of life that would be lost to illness or disability) were cost-effective, relative to national income thresholds.The review also identified specific programs that are likely not cost-effective, including screening for hypertension at younger ages (age 35 vs age 55), addressing prehypertension, and treating patients at lower cardiovascular disease risk.
Cost-effectiveness analysis specific to low-resource settings can help inform decisions to implement hypertension control programs in low- and middle-income countries. Current gaps in evidence that may further inform cost-effectiveness research were also identified: more research is needed on program elements such as task-sharing, risk-based treatment and establishing standardized treatment protocols.
“Innovative and cost-effective models of care are the way forward to increase access to hypertension treatment for the most vulnerable” said Dr. Jennifer Cohn, Senior Vice President of Cardio Vascular Health, “recommendations from this review show us a path towards scaling up programs and reaching control for hypertension in low- and middle-income countries.”
Link to Report:
Erin Sykes, Resolve to Save Lives: [email protected]; +1.646.612.0001
Christina Honeysett, Vital Strategies: [email protected]; +1.914.424.3356
About Resolve to Save Lives
Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of the global health organization, Vital Strategies, focuses on preventing deaths from cardiovascular disease and by preventing epidemics. Resolve to Save Lives is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gates Philanthropy Partners, which is funded with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation. It is led by Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To find out more, visit: https://www.resolvetosavelives.org or Twitter @ResolveTSL and @DrTomFrieden
About Vital Strategies
Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible. To find out more, please visit www.vitalstrategies.org or Twitter @VitalStrat.