Prevalence and awareness of hypertension and associated risk factors among bank workers in Owerri, Nigeria
Background: Hypertension is largely asymptomatic and common among adult Nigerians, and considered to be of public health importance. Banking work is associated with stress, a risk for hypertension.
Aim: To evaluate the prevalence and awareness of hypertension and its associated risk factors among bankers in Owerri.
Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive study was aimed at determining the knowledge, prevalence of hypertension and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease among bank workers in Owerri. We randomly selected banks by balloting in Owerri and assessed 194 bankers using a self-administered questionnaire on their knowledge and social habits. Their blood pressure (mmHg), weight (Kg) and heights (meter) were measured. Results are presented in proportions and odds ratio.
Results: We studied 194 bankers; 100 males and 94 females. Most respondents (98%) had a good knowledge of hypertension but 80.4% (156) had poor knowledge of the risk factors of hypertension; 86.6% (118) and 59.3% (115) had poor knowledge of its treatment and complications respectively. The prevalence of hypertension was 12.4% with odds of a male being hypertensive 4.2 (95% CI 1.5 – 11.7), P-value= 0.006. Thirteen (68.4%) bankers with hypertension had good blood pressure control. Alcohol consumption in 12 (50%) and obesity in 9 (37.5%) bankers were the commonest cardiovascular risk factors.
Conclusion: Bank workers in Owerri have a good knowledge of hypertension despite a low prevalence of hypertension. Additional educational effort aimed at addressing blood pressure control and life style modification is necessary among bankers.
Keywords: Hypertension, prevalence, bankers, awareness, risk factors, cardiovascular disease