Hypertension is a growing public health problem in many developing countries including Ethiopia. However, its prevention and control has not yet received due attention. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and associated factors of hypertension among adults in Gondar city, North-West Ethiopia.
A community based cross-sectional study was conducted in April 2012 in Gondar city. Participants aged 35 years and older were recruited using multi-stage random sampling technique. Data were collected by face-to-face interview technique after verbal informed consent. Additionally, weight, height and Blood Pressure (BP) of participants were measured following standard procedures. Hypertension was defined as having Systolic BP ≥140 mmHG or Diastolic BP≥ 90mmHG or reported use of regular anti-hypertensive medications prescribed by professionals for raised BP. Data were collected by clinical nurses and then entered into a computer using Epi Info version 3.5.3 and exported to SPSS version 20 for analysis. Multiple logistic regressions were fitted and Odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated to identify associated factors.
A total of 679 participants were included in this study. About one in –five participants (21.0%) were aged 65 years or older. Obesity among all participants was 5.6%. Hundred ninety two (28.3%) were hypertensive of whom more than a third (37.0%) did not know they had hypertension. Family history of hypertension (AOR = 2.71, 95%CI; 1.37-5.36), obesity (AOR = 5.50, 95%CI; 2.07-14.62), self reported diabetes (AOR = 4.15, 95%CI; 1.77-9.72), age ≥ 55 years (AOR=3.33, 95%CI; 1.88-5.90) and not continuously walking for 10 minutes per day (AOR = 2.86, 95%CI; 1.15-7.12) were factors associated with hypertension.
There was a high prevalence of hypertension probably indicating a hidden epidemic in this community. Age ≥ 55 years, obesity, family history of hypertension, physical inactivity and self reported diabetes were associated with hypertension. Hence, we recommend the design and implementation of community based screening programs.
Keywords: Hypertension, Prevalence, Blood Pressure, Ethiopia