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Hypertension most common risk factor for Chinese heart disease patients

Martin Guo

Editor-in-Chief, Kantar China Insights

Health 29.09.2016 / 10:30

2016 World Heart Day banner

But Chinese patients are not paying enough attention to control it.

September 29 is the World Heart Day designated by World Heart Federation. This year’s theme is “Power Your Life”.

According to Kantar Health’s heart disease data released on this day, out of the four most common risk factors for heart diseases, Chinese patients are more likely to have hypertension (35%) than high cholesterol (31%), tobacco use (28%) and obesity (5%). It seems compared with other countries, Chinese patients are much less likely to suffer from obesity – in other eight countries covered in this data set the lowest proportion was 23%.

Similar to China’s situation, the most common risk factor for Japanese heart disease patients is also hypertension (47%). But in western countries, the most prevalent risk factor is high cholesterol, such as in the United States it is 67%, 66% for France, 59% for the United Kingdom and 46% for Spain.

For Brazilian patients, hypertension (27%), high cholesterol (26%) and obesity (23%) have similar prevalence, while for Russian heart disease patients, the prevalence of hypertension and tobacco usage is the same (39%) while 31% of them have high cholesterol.



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Kantar Health's National Health and Wellness Survey is the largest global self-reported general population survey in the healthcare industry. It now has more than 1.5 million survey respondents in 10 countries.

Compared with the prevalence of risk factors in China, from their responses of prevention measures, we could see that they didn’t give enough priority to control their blood pressure. When asked “what steps do you take to prevent a heart attack or other heart problems?”, the two most mentioned answers were “take healthy diet/vitamins” (71.86%) and “exercises/stress management activities/maintain healthy weight”(70.95%). Even though it makes sense to control the diet and exercise more, the fact that only 51% of patients chose “lower my blood pressure/cholesterol” showed that Chinese patients were not paying enough attention to that.



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“From these data we could see that Chinese patients were taking proactive steps to control their condition, however, they should have given the highest priority to control blood pressure,” said Adele Li, Research Director of Kantar Health China. “It is probably because in Chinese culture, we believe `for every medicine, 30% is poison’.

“Chinese patients don’t like to take drugs. Heart disease is a chronical disease. We can see that Chinese people will comply with doctors’ subscriptions when the symptom is acute. But when things gets better, they’ll stop following doctors’ instructions. In fact, they should always follow doctors’ subscriptions strictly.”

Adele added that: “According to WHO, Ischaemic heart disease has been the No.1 cause of death among diseases. The situation is true worldwide, but in China we have increasingly more young patients in recent years.”

Source: Kantar Health

Editor's notes

* Data period for National Health and Wellness Survey: 2016 (UK, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan), 2015 (US, Brazil, China), 2013 (Russia).

* To reach the author, or to know more information, data and analysis of health industry, please contact us.

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