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Factors associated with hypertension awareness, treatment, and control in Ghana, West Africa


Hypertension is rapidly becoming a major public health burden in sub-Saharan/Africa but awareness, treatment, and control is lagging behind. We analysed cross-sectional data from Ghana (West-Africa) to examine factors associated with awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension. The overall prevalence of hypertension was 29.4%. Of these, 34% were aware of their condition, 28% were receiving treatment, and 6.2% were controlled below SBP/DBP <140/90 mmHg. Multivariate analysis showed that old age was independently associated with higher hypertension awareness: 35–49-year-olds (odds ratio (OR)=2.57, 95% (confidence interval) CI: 1.26–5.22), 50-year-olds (OR=6.14, CI: 2.98–12.64) compared with 16–34-year-olds. Old age: 50-year-olds (OR: 6.25, 95% CI: 2.87–13.62), trading (OR=2.46, 95% CI: 1.17–5.17), and overweight (OR=1.85, 95% CI: 1.02, 3.34) were independently associated with pharmacological treatment of hypertension. Trading (OR=2.51, 95% CI: 1.03–7.40) was independently associated with adequate blood pressure (BP) control but old age: 50-year-olds (OR=0.11, 95% CI: 0.01–0.60) was independently associated with inadequate BP control. The identified factors provide important information for improving BP control among this population. Given the high cost of hypertension medication relative to income, increasing awareness and simple preventive measures such as promotion of physical activity, normalising body weight and reduction of salt intake, present the best hope for reducing the impact of hypertension on morbidity and mortality.

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We thank Professor Raj Bhopal (University of Edinburgh), A de Jonge (Nijmegen University), and Dr. Ken Redekop (Erasmus Medical Centre) for their very useful comments, which helped to improve the earlier version of this paper. We are also indebted to the anonymous referee who provided comments that helped to improved the earlier version of this paper. This project was supported by the Health Research and Development Council of the Netherlands (ZonMw).

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Correspondence to C Agyemang.

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Agyemang, C., Bruijnzeels, M. & Owusu-Dabo, E. Factors associated with hypertension awareness, treatment, and control in Ghana, West Africa. J Hum Hypertens 20, 67–71 (2006).

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  • hypertension
  • awareness
  • treatment
  • control
  • Ghana, Africa

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