The burden of high blood pressure and related risk factors in urban Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidences from Douala in Cameroon
Objective: To provide the current burden of high blood pressure and related risk factors in urban setting in Cameroon.
Methods:We used the WHO STEPS approach for Surveillance of non-communicable diseases and their risk factors to collect data from 2,559 adults aged 15-99 years, residing at Cite des Palmiers in Douala, Cameroon.
Results: The level of education was low with up to 60% of participants totalizing less than primary school. Smoking habits were 6 times more frequent in men (p<0.001) and 85% of participants reported alcohol consumption. Sedentary lifestyles at work and at leisure time were prevalent.Women displayed high prevalence of obesity in general.The mean blood pressure and the prevalence of hypertension increased with age in men and women.The prevalence of hypertension was 20.8%, and the risk of hypertension significantly increased with clustering of risk factors in the general population (p=0.001) and in men (p=0.008).
Conclusions: This study provides additional evidence on the growing problem of hypertension and related risk factors in urban Cameroon; and confirms the feasibility of using the WHO STEPS approach for the surveillance of NCDs in Africa. There is a need for rapid implementation of preventive strategies in the country.
Keywords: Hypertension, risk factors, non-communicable diseases,Africa, Cameroon
African Health Sciences Vol. 7(1) 2007: pp. 38-44