Prevalence of hypertension and its risk factors in western area urban, Freetown Sierra Leone

  • Hassan Benya
  • Eric Ikoona
  • Esayas Kabede Gudina


Background: Hypertension and its associated complications are among the leading causes of deaths globally. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of hypertension and its risk factors amongst adult attendants at three hospital outpatient departments in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 646 adults (20-65 years) in three hospitals completed a modified WHO survey questionnaire in December 2018. Hypertension was defined as having a systolic blood pressure (BP) of ≥130 mmHg and/ or diastolic BP of ≥80mmHg or reported a history of anti-hypertensive medication for raised BP. Descriptive statistics were used to calculate the prevalence of hypertension and univariate and multiple regression analysis were used to identify predictors of hypertension at a 95% confidence interval. Results: Of the 646 study participants, 56.7% were females. The prevalence of hypertension among the study participants was 41.0 % (female: 41.5% and male: 40.4%). Multiple regression analysis indicated that physical inactivity [AOR=1.77; 95% Cl (1.20-2.60)], vocational education [AOR= 4.17; 95% Cl(1.23-14.14)], and older age groups 40-49 years [AOR=2.12;Cl(2.77-10.37)], 50-59 [AOR= 3.13;Cl(1.82-11.07)], and 60-65 years [AOR=7.18;Cl(1.98-25.99)] remained independent risk factors with hypertension. Conclusion: The prevalence of hypertension is high in this study population. Old age, physical inactivity, and vocational education are the major risk factors for hypertension. Majority of the study participants were unaware that they had hypertension and thus they were not on treatment. Now may be the opportune time for the authorities to institute community awareness and screening interventions for the community.
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