Epidemiological survey of hypertension in Anambra state, Nigeria

  • C.N. Ezekwesili
  • C.J. Ononamadu
  • O.F. Onyeukwu
  • N.C. Mefoh
Keywords: Anambra state, epidemiology, hypertension, prevalence, risk factors


Background: Hypertension is a major public health problem worldwide. Estimating the prevalence of disease in populations of Nigeria would be useful in developing intervention programs to control it and prevent its consequences.

Objective: This survey was carried out to assess the prevalence, awareness, treatment, detection and risk factors of hypertension in three major populations - Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka cities of Anambra State.

Methods: The study was a church based cross sectional study involving 912 participants randomly selected from the three major zones in Anambra State. The age range of the participants was 17-79 years. Participants were administered with a well-structured questionnaire and their blood pressures (BP) as well as anthropometric measurements were taken using standard instruments.

Results: The study population (n = 912) consists, 476 (52.16%) females and 436 (47.81%) males; sampled randomly from Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi. The overall crude prevalence of hypertension and prehypertension in the study population were 22.81% and 42.54% respectively. The crude prevalence of hypertension in the three cities - Onitsha, Awka and Nnewi were 32.56%, 19.665 and 16.40% respectively. The prevalence of hypertension was significantly higher in Onitsha (P = 0.0001). The prevalence of hypertension in both sexes was not statistically different (male, 22.01% and female, 23.5% P = 0.587). Mean BMI, Systolic, and Diastolic BP for the study population was 25.43 ± 4.2, 120.7 ± 18.39 and 78.21 ± 12.57 respectively. Systolic and diastolic BP correlated with age and anthropometric measures such as waist circumference, BMI, Hip circumference, weight and height. The following factors were strongly associated with the prevalence of hypertension in our study population: Age (χ2 = 110.87, P = 0.000); Zone (χ2 = 25.19, P = 0.000); BMI (χ2 = 45.51, P = 0.000); Physical Activity(χ2 = 58.08, P = 0.000);
Alcohol Consumption (χ2 = 32.27, P = 0.000); Smoking (χ2 = 7.892, P = 0.000); General Health status (χ2 = 46,62, P = 0.000); Consumption of fatty food (χ2 = 29.35, P = 0.000). A low percentage of the population, 9.76% reported previous diagnosis of high BP and 34.59% of 910 of the participants also reported previous BP diagnosis of any relative. Our result shows that the prevalence of hypertension and prehypertension in this population was high and associated with some modifiable risk factors. In addition, poor detection, treatment and control of hypertension in this population were observed. This underscores the need for comprehensive evaluation of the prevalence of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases in Nigeria.

Keywords: Anambra state, epidemiology, hypertension, prevalence, risk factors


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eISSN: 1119-3077