Hypertension prevalence and awareness among a health workforce in Nigeria
Hypertension is now being widely reported in Africa and it is a major factor in the high mortality of adults in sub-Saharan Africa. Unfortunately hypertension is often unnoticed and undiagnosed because it is usually asymptomatic. As such, many people with hypertension are unaware of their condition. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of hypertension and related risk factors and to assess the level of awareness of hypertensive status among the health workers. This study is a descriptive survey carried out among the health workers at the Baptist Medical Centre Ogbomoso, Nigeria. A total of 324 consenting health workers of the institution were enrolled for the study. A standardized questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic data. Measurements of blood pressure, weight and height were carried out and body mass indices were calculated.The prevalence of hypertension is 20.1% in the studied population. A strong association was found between the prevalence of hypertension and increasing age, body mass index, alcohol consumption and duration of employment. Awareness of hypertensive status was good as 64.7% of the hypertensive subjects in this study were aware of their status.There is a higher awareness of hypertensive status among the health workers in this study than in the general populace. Approximately a third of the health workers were however unaware of their hypertensive status. This demonstrates the asymptomatic nature of the disease and as such routine screening is very important even among health workers.
KEY WORDS: Awareness; Health workers; Hypertension; Nigeria; Prevalence