Awareness, Treatment and Control of Hypertension among Hypertensives in Zaria
Background: Blood pressure control is a global challenge. Adequate and appropriate health education is a potentially useful tool. This study was carried out to investigate the content of health education received by patients with hypertension in relation to their treatment compliance and blood pressure control. Methodology: Two hundred and two consecutive subjects with systemic hypertension attending a tertiary health facility in Zaria, Nigeria were seen in a cross-sectional prospective study. Clinical information and content of health information they had received on issues of awareness and control of their disease were obtained and analyzed. Results: Their mean age was 52.6±10.7 years, mean BMI 28.5±0.1 kg/m2 while the duration of hypertension ranged from 0.3- 40 years, median of 7.0 years. 12.4% of the patients had BP controlled, 49.5% were in stage 1 and 38.1% in stage 2. 71.1% of the subjects had had health education from their primary physician, 80.5% were consistent with follow up and 67.3% reported compliance with their medication. Knowledge of the names of their medication and need for dietary salt restriction was significantly higher in those with health information. (X2 = 9.85, p=0.002 and X2 = 9.20, p=0.01 respectively). Awareness rate did not seem to have affected blood pressure control. (X2 = 0.82, p=0.36). Only 46.9% of the total population showed some understanding of health information. Conclusion: This study shows a fair hypertension awareness rate but poor blood pressure control. Emphasis should be placed on content and coverage of health information in hypertension management at all levels of healthcare.
Key Words hypertension, awareness, treatment, control.