Prevalence of hypertension and its associated risk factors in a rural black population of mthatha town, south africa
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Background: The occurrence of hypertension has been increasing alarmingly in both low and middle-income countries. Despite acknowledging hypertension as the most common life-threatening risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), a dearth of data is available on the prevalence, awareness, and determinants of hypertension in rural parts of South Africa. The principal aim of the current study is to determine the prevalence and associated risk factors of hypertension among a black rural African population from the Mtatha town of Eastern Cape Province. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study, and individuals over 18 years of age were randomly screened using a World Health Organization stepwise questionnaire. Sociodemographic information, anthropometric measurements, fasting blood glucose levels, and three independent blood pressure (BP) readings were measured. Blood pressure measurements were classified according to the American Heart Association guidelines. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine the significant predictors of hypertension. Results: Of the total participants (n = 556), 71% of individuals had BP scores in the hypertensive range. In univariate analysis, age, westernized diet, education, income, and diabetic status, as well as overweight/obese status were positively associated with the prevalence of hypertension. However, in a multivariate logistic regression analysis only, age, body mass index (BMI), diabetic status, and westernized diet were significantly associated with a higher risk of developing hypertension. Gender, age, and BMI were potential factors having a significant association with the treatment of hypertension. Individuals who did not consider the importance of medicine had higher chances of having their hypertension being untreated. Conclusions: Prevalence of hypertension was high among the black rural African population of Mthatha town. Gender, age, westernized diet, education level, income status, diabetic as well as overweight/obese status were the most significant predictors of hypertension.
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