Prevalence and severity of hypertension and associated lifes | 17981
International Research Journals

Prevalence and severity of hypertension and associated lifestyle risk factors in a rural community in west Africa


Barbara A Clark, Andrew C Shannon, Alexander H Shannon

Rates of hypertension may be on the rise in Sub Sah aran Africa, especially in more urban communities with greater access to high salt foods and a more sedentary lifestyle. Less is known about the prevalence and potential modifiable risk factors in rural Africa. Blood pressure (BP) screening was conducted in the rural community of O uesse, Benin. 154 persons presented for screening. Of these, 101 had a known history of hyp ertension and 53 individuals were without known history. All screened were interviewed for other ca rdiovascular (CV) risk and lifestyle factors. The prevalence of hypertension was 28.3%, in those with out known history. Other CV risk factors were low: obesity <10%, smoking 7%, reported diabetes 4% . Life style factors were notable for high level of physical activity, but low intake of daily fruit an d vegetable (27%) and high rate of salting of foods (85%). Only 56.5% were on BP medications despite kn own hypertension and control was poor (only 24.8% <140/90). 67% were not aware of consequences of hypertension. In summary, the prevalence of hypertension is high even in this non sedentary rur al community with low rates of obesity. Salt intake is high and fruit and vegetable intake low. The maj ority of those with known hypertension did not have adequate control and more than half were not t aking any medications. Areas for intervention include counseling on diet, consequences of hyperte nsion, regular screening and the importance of continued regular physical activity.

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