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Med Trop (Mars). 2007 Dec;67(6):559-67.

[Arterial hypertension in sub-Saharan Africa. Update and perspectives].

[Article in French]

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Service de Cardiologie, Hôpital d'Instruction des Armées Laveran, Marseille, France.


Arterial hypertension is a worldwide health problem due to its high incidence and to related cardiovascular and renal risks. More than 25% of adults in the world have hypertension and this percentage is expected to increase in the coming years in all areas including sub-Saharan Africa. There were approximately 80 million patients with hypertension sub-Saharan Africa in 2000 and projections based on current epidemiologic data suggest that this figure will rise to 150 million by 2025. The increase in the incidence of hypertension appears to be closely correlated with aging of the population as well as with the growing number of overweight and obese persons. Association with type II diabetes is particularly deleterious. These trends show regional variations with prevalence being associated with the rate of urbanization and westernization of lifestyle. In Black Africa hypertension presents several etiopathogenic particularities mainly with regard to dependence on sodium sensitivity and lower plasma renin activity. Due to delayed and/or inadequate therapeutic management and to a likely genetic predisposition, organ-related complications are more common and occur earlier in Black Africa. Stroke, heart failure, and renal failure are frequent complications in young patients. From a therapeutic standpoint, the mainstay treatment involves the use of thiazidic diuretics in association with hygiene and dietary measures especially sodium restriction. This article provides an update of recent findings in this domain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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