Prevalence and income-related equity in hypertension in rural China from 1991 to 2011: Differences between self-reported and tested measures

Dan Cao, Zhongliang Zhou*, Yafei Si, Xiao Xiao, Xiao Wang, Chi Shen, Yangling Ren, Min Su, Shuyi He, Jianmin Gao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Along with economic growth and living standard improvement, hypertension has become one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in China. Self-reported measures and tested measures of hypertension may differ significantly due to the low awareness of prevalence. The objective of this study is to figure out whether and how self-reported measures differ from tested measures in terms of prevalence and equity. Method: We have used data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey database from 1991 to 2011 and extracted the data of rural areas using hukou system. Hypertension is categorized into two groups: self-reported hypertension and tested hypertension. To evaluate the equity of self-reported hypertension and tested hypertension, we calculated their Concentration Index (C) and decomposed C based on which we have obtained the horizontal-inequity index (HI) of each year. Probit Model was deployed to analyze the key determinants of hypertension prevalence. Results: We found that the prevalence of both self-reported hypertension and tested hypertension have sharply increased from 1991 to 2011 in rural China and the population of tested hypertension was significantly larger than that of self-reported hypertension. For self-reported hypertension, prevalence rate increased from 2.72 to 13.2% and for tested hypertension it increased from 11.01 to 25.05%. Both of the Concentration Index (C) and horizontal-inequity index (HI) of self-reported hypertension and tested hypertension appeared to be contradictory. The C and HI of self-reported hypertension in 2011 were 0.032 and 0.060 respectively while the C and HI of tested hypertension were - 0.024 and - 0.015 respectively. Conclusion: More efforts should be put into for improving the poor's health, especially in equal access to health services. Symptom-based measures such as tested hypertension should be adopted more widely in empirical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number437
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Concentration index
  • Equity
  • Self-reported hypertension
  • Tested hypertension


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