Hypertension and hypertension-related disease in Mongolia; findings of a national knowledge, attitudes and practices study
1 Copenhagen School of Global Health, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, DK-1014 Copenhagen, Denmark
2 Public Health Institute, Mongolian Ministry of Health Olympic Street 2, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
3 University of Copenhagen, Faculty Of Health Sciences, Øster Farimagsgade 5, DK-1014 Copenhagen, Denmark
4 Section of Health Services Research Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, DK-1014 Copenhagen, Denmark
BMC Public Health 2013, 13:194 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-194Published: 6 March 2013
Mongolia has a high and increasing burden of hypertension and related disease, with cardiovascular diseases among the leading causes of death. Yet little is known about the knowledge, attitudes and practices of the Mongolian population with regards to blood pressure. With this in mind, a national Non-Communicable Diseases knowledge, attitudes and practices survey on blood pressure was implemented in late 2010. This paper reports on the findings of this research.
Using a multi-stage, random cluster sampling method 3450 participant households were selected from across Mongolia. This survey was interviewer-administered and included demographic and socio-economic questions. Sample size was calculated using methods aligned with the World Health Organization STEPS surveys.
One fifth of participants reported having never heard the term ‘blood pressure’. This absence of health knowledge was significantly higher in men, and particularly younger men. The majority of participants recognised high blood pressure to be a threat to health, with a higher level of risk awareness among urban individuals. Education level and older age were generally associated with a heightened knowledge and risk perception. Roughly seven in ten participants were aware of the relationship between salt and blood pressure. Exploring barriers to screening, participants rated a ‘lack of perceived importance’ as the main deterring factor among fellow Mongolians and overall, participants perceived medication and exercise as the only interventions to be moderately effective at preventing high blood pressure.
Rural populations; younger populations; men; and less educated populations, all with lower levels of knowledge and risk perception regarding hypertension, present those most vulnerable to it and the related health outcomes. This research intimates major health knowledge gaps in sub-populations within Mongolia, regarding health-risks related to hypertension.