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The persistence of irregular treatment of hypertension in the former Soviet Union
  1. Bayard Roberts1,
  2. Andrew Stickley1,2,3,
  3. Dina Balabanova1,
  4. Christian Haerpfer4,
  5. Martin McKee1
  1. 1European Centre on Health of Societies in Transition, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  2. 2Stockholm Centre on Health of Societies in Transition (SCOHOST), Södertörn University, Huddinge, Sweden
  3. 3Department of Global Health Policy, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
  4. 4School of Social Science, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
  1. Correspondence to Bayard Roberts, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Public Health and Policy, 15-17 Tavistock Place, London WC1H9SH, UK; bayard.roberts{at}


Background Hypertension is one of the leading causes of avoidable mortality in the former Soviet Union (fSU). In previous work, the authors described patterns of irregular hypertension treatment in eight countries of the fSU in 2001. This paper presents new data on changes in the use of hypertension treatment in the same countries.

Methods Using household survey data from 18 420 (2001) and 17 914 (2010) respondents from Armenia, Azerbaijan (2010 only), Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine, the authors describe changes in rates of irregular treatment use (less than daily) between 2001 and 2010. Multivariate logistic regression was also used to analyse the characteristics associated with irregular treatment.

Results Irregular treatment was extremely high at 74% in 2001 and only fell to 68% in 2010 (all countries combined). Irregular treatment remained particularly high in 2010 in Armenia (79%), Kazakhstan (73%) and Moldova (73%). Recurring characteristics associated with irregular treatment included gender (men), younger age, higher fitness levels, and consuming alcohol and tobacco.

Conclusions Irregular hypertension treatment continues to be a major problem in the countries of the fSU and requires an urgent response.

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  • Funding The HITT Project was funded by the European Union's 7th Framework Programme; project HEALTH-F2-2009-223344. The European Commission cannot accept any responsibility for any information provided or views expressed.

  • Competing interest None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.