Assessment of risk factors for hypertension in Dormaa Municipality (Ghana)

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Hypertension is an important public health challenge worldwide and is the single most important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. As life expectancy rates improve in Ghana and prevalence of risk factors increase, the burden of non-communicable diseases such as hypertension are also expected to increase. However, little is known about the specific factors that dispose Ghanaians to greater risk of hypertension. A cross-sectional study was conducted in the Dormaa municipality using the WHO STEPwise approach to investigate risk factors for hypertension. Study participants were recruited by probability proportional sampling techniques. In all, 202 males and 198 females participated in this study. The mean age of the participants was 50.06 years (95% CI: 48.46-51.66). In all, 40% of all participants in this study had an elevated BP (BP ≥ 140/90mmHg). Further, the rate of isolated systolic hypertension was 11.2% among the study population (12.9% in males and 9.6% among females). Risk factors as measured in the population were advancing age above 45 years (OR = 2.745, CI 1.20 – 6.30, P = 0.017), gender (44.6% males versus 35.4% females with elevated BP, male OR = 0.492, CI 0.28 – 0.86, P = 0.012) and tobacco use (OR = 2.66, CI 1.41 – 5.04, P = 0.003).Males reported a higher mean number of fruit (P = 0.036) and vegetable servings than females (P = 0.009) and spend more time each day on physical activities compared to females (P = 0.000). The results of the present study provide useful data on hypertension prevalence and associated risk factors in Dormaa and the Brong Ahafo region. To be able to control hypertension in the Municipality, health practitioners and policy makers should focus on these modifiable risk factors if any success is to be achieved.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Health Promotion and Education, College of Health Sciences, School of Public Health, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Public Health in Health Promotion and Education.