Poor compliance with lifestyle modifications and related factors in hypertension
Background: Lifestyle modification (LSM) is the first step in the management of hypertension, and it has good outcomes. These outcomes can only be achieved with good compliance. However, the level of compliance with LSM is not established in our setting. Hence, we sought to determine the level of compliance with LSM, and the related factors in hypertensive patients.
Methods: This was a cross - sectional study of hypertensive patients in a tertiary health centre. An intervieweradministered questionnaire was used to obtain data on socio - demographic variables, and assess the practice of seven aspects of LSM. Compliance with each LSM, and the different LSM assessed were determined. Chi square test was used to determine associations, and p values = 0.05 were significant.
Results: There were 254 respondents with a median age of 63 years, and 104(40.9%) were males. Compliance with each LSM was regular exercises 12.1%; salt restriction 26.4%; increased intake of fruits 21.3% and vegetables 13.4%; low fat diet 31.1%; cessation of smoking 96.6%; and alcohol moderation 87.4%. Generally, sixty – eight (26.8%) had good compliance, while 186 (73.2%) had poor compliance. The association of gender, educational status, and duration of hypertension gave p values of 0.009, 0.006, and 0.00 respectively.
Conclusion: Compliance with LSM is poor among hypertensive patients. Regular physical exercise, increased intake of vegetables and fruits were the least practiced. Low educational status, long history of hypertension, and male gender are the related factors. Measures to address these factors should be initiated.