Correlates of undiagnosed hypertension among health care workers in a secondary health care facility in north central Nigeria
Background: Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, yet many health care workers rarely check their blood pressure. The detection of hypertension among health care workers is key to prevention of hypertension, its attendant complications in the community and a strategy for health care workers retention.
Objective: To determine the prevalence and correlates of undiagnosed hypertension among health care workers in a secondary health care facility.
Methods: Using a structured questionnaire, sociodemographic variables and risk factors for hypertension were obtained. Measurements of blood pressure, weight, height and waist circumference were carried out and body mass index calculated.
Results: The prevalence of hypertension was 41.9%. The prevalence of undiagnosed hypertension was 35.1%. Multivariate analysis showed that age greater than 42 years (OR=0.24; 95%CI: 0.10-0.72) is a significant correlate of undiagnosed hypertension. Those who self-reported that they
had been diagnosed to have hypertension were 15.5% of the study population. Among those who had self-reported hypertension, 79.1% were found to have hypertension by the researchers while among those who had no history of hypertension, 35.1% were hypertensive. When a history of
hypertension is used as a screening test for the diagnosis of hypertension, it gave a sensitivity of 29.2%, a specificity of 94.4%, a positive predictive value of 79.1%, a negative predictive value of 64.9% and an accuracy of 67.1%.
Conclusion: One in three persons had undiagnosed hypertension and those who were over 42 years are at risk for undiagnosed hypertension. This calls for urgent workplace strategies to create more awareness as a prevention and control strategy for the facility and the general population.