Prevalence of hypertension and health-seeking behaviours of market women in Abia State Nigeria
Background and objectives: Hypertension is a major killer of women worldwide, prioritization of the health needs of market women will sustain the contribution of the informal sector to national economic development. This study aimed at assessing the prevalence of hypertension and health-seeking behaviours of market women in Abia State Nigeria
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional design study was used to randomly select 1, 360 market women (aged 15-70 years) from 8 markets in the State. Omron digital automatic blood pressure monitor was used to obtain the blood pressure values of the respondents. Descriptive and inferential statistics were computed for the variables.
Result: Results showed that 33.5% and 33.4% of the respondents self-rated their health as being excellent and good respectively irrespective of the fact that 26.1% of them had not visited the hospital in recent times, more than half (55.1%) of them visited the hospital because of their ill-health, about half (48.9%) of the respondents monitored their blood pressure upon hospital visit during ill health while 43.5% reported that market activities refrained them from seeking prompt medical treatment early. Results showed that the majority (77.9%) of the respondents had normal blood pressure levels while 20.7% of them were hypertensive. Health-seeking behaviour variables were negatively correlated with blood pressure levels.
Conclusion: The respondents had low health-seeking behaviours, and one-fifth of them were hypertensive. A significant association exists between health-seeking behaviour and blood pressure levels. Improved health-seeking behaviours amongst market women which will facilitate prompt identification/diagnosis and treatment of disease conditions should be encouraged
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