The Effect of Home-Based Hypertension Screening on Blood Pressure Change over Time in South Africa: A Population-Based Regression Discontinuity Study

Nikkil Sudharsanan , Heidelberg University
Simiao Chen, Heidelberg University
Michael Garber, Emory University
Till Bärnighausen, University of Heidelberg
Pascal Geldsetzer, Harvard University

There is considerable policy interest in population wide home-based screening campaigns for hypertension in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, it is unclear whether such efforts will result in long-term population-level blood pressure improvements without more comprehensive interventions that strengthen the entire hypertension care continuum. Using multiple waves of the South African National Income Dynamics Study, we use the quasi-experimental regression discontinuity design to evaluate the effect of home-based hypertension screening on two- year change in blood pressure. We find that the home-based screening intervention results in important reductions in systolic blood pressure for women and younger men. We do not find evidence of an effect on systolic blood pressure for older men or on diastolic blood pressure for either sex. Our results suggest that home-based hypertension screening may be a promising strategy for reducing high blood pressure in LMICs, but additional research and policy efforts are needed to understand how to ensure that such strategies have maximum reach and impact.

See paper

 Presented in Session 92. Healthcare Screening and Utilization