Prevalence and determinants of hypertension among students of the University of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo: a cross-sectional study

  • Guy I Wanghi
  • Paulin B Mutombo
  • Ernest K Sumaili
Keywords: Hypertension, risk factors, student, prevalence.


Background: The 2017 ACC/AHA Guideline categorized blood pressure into 4 levels:normal (SBP<120 and DBP <80mm Hg), elevated (SBP of 120–129 or DBP< 80 mmHg) and stage 1 (SBP of 130–139 or DBP of 80–89 mm Hg) or 2 (SBP≥140 orDBP≥90mmHg). Compared with the JNC7 guideline, the 2017 ACC/AHA guideline recommends using lower SBP and DBP levels to define hypertension.
Objective: To determine the prevalence of hypertension as well as associated factors among students of the University of Kinshasa.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted at the University of Kinshasa and including 1 281 students aged between 18 and 30. Blood pressure was assessed according to the WHO STEPwise approach, which is a standardized method of data collection, analysis and dissemination for the surveillance of non-communicable diseases in WHO member countries.The Chi-square and Student's t-tests and a multivariate logistic regression analysis have been used to evaluate the results. Statistical analyses were done using IBM SPSS version 21.
Results: The prevalence of hypertension according to the guidelines from the 2017 ACC/AHA and the JNC 7 was 26.4 % (CI 95%; 23.9 - 28.9) and 7.3 % (CI 95%; 5.8 -8.8), respectively. The results of multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that smoking, alcohol abuse, overweight, male sex, age ≥ 24 years old and low physical activity were associated with hypertension (p < 0.0001).
Conclusion: At least one out of four students had hypertension. These data should encourage public health authorities to develop strategies for screening of BP and topromote the adoption of healthy lifestyle in young adults.

Keywords: Hypertension, risk factors, student, prevalence.


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eISSN: 1680-6905