Knowledge and prevalence of risk factors for arterial hypertension and blood pressure pattern among bankers and traffic wardens in Ilorin, Nigeria
Background: High job strain, mental stress, sedentary lifestyle, increase in BMI are among the factors associated with significantly higher incidence of hypertension. The job of bank employees is both sedentary in nature and accompanies high mental stress. The aim of this study is to assess the level of knowledge of risk factors among respondents and to compare the blood pressure pattern of bankers and traffic wardens.
Methodology: The study design is a descriptive cross-sectional conducted among bankers and traffic wardens in Ilorin to determine the pattern and knowledge of blood pressure. Self-administered questionnaires, weighing scale (Omron Digital scale), stadiometer and sphygmomanometer were used as the research instruments. Simple random sampling was used to select respondents involved in the study.
Results: The prevalence of hypertension in this study was 34.4% in bankers and 22.2% in traffic wardens. The risk factors the bankers commonly had knowledge of are alcohol, obesity, high salt intake, certain drugs, stress, emotional problems and family history while the traffic wardens commonly had knowledge of all these in addition to cigarette smoking. Also, more bankers (32.2%) than traffic wardens (13.3%) were smoking cigarette and more of these cigarette smokers that are bankers (17.8%) had elevated blood pressure compared to the traffic wardens (3.3%).
Conclusion: Workers in the banking industry as well as traffic wardens should be better educated about the risk factors of hypertension and bankers should be encouraged to create time for exercise.
Key words: Hypertension, risk factors, bankers, traffic wardens