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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Pre-hypertension in Uganda: a cross-sectional study

Fred Nuwaha* and Geofrey Musinguzi

Author Affiliations

Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2013, 13:101  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-13-101

Published: 14 November 2013

Abstract

Background

Persons with a systolic blood pressure (BP) of 120 to < 140 or diastolic BP of 80 to < 90 mm hg are classified as having pre-hypertension. Pre-hypertension is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, incident CVD and CVD mortality. Understanding determinants of pre-hypertension especially in low income countries is a pre-requisite for improved prevention and control.

Methods

Data were analyzed for 4142 persons aged 18 years and older with BP measured in a community cross sectional survey in Uganda. The prevalence of pre-hypertension was estimated and a number of risk factors e.g. smoking, use of alcohol, overweight, obesity, physical activity, sex, age, marital status, place of residence, and consumption of vegetables and fruits were compared among different groups (normotension, pre-hypertension, and hypertension) using bivariate and multivariable logistic regression.

Results

The age standardized prevalence of normal blood pressure was 37.6%, pre-hypertension 33.9%, hypertension 28.5% and raised blood pressure 62%. There was no difference between the prevalence of hypertension among women compared to men (28.9% versus 27.9%). However, the prevalence of pre-hypertension was higher among men (41.6%) compared to women (29.4%). Compared to people with normal blood pressure, the risk of pre-hypertension was increased by being 40 years and above, smoking, consumption of alcohol, not being married, being male and being overweight or obese. Compared to pre-hypertension, hypertension was more likely if one was more than 40 years, had infrequent or no physical activity, resided in an urban area, and was obese or overweight.

Conclusions

More than one in three of adults in this population had pre-hypertension. Preventive and public health interventions that reduce the prevalence of raised blood pressure need to be implemented.

Keywords:
Cardiovascular diseases; Non communicable diseases; Low income countries; Risk factors; Prevalence