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Hypertension in Kerala: A study of prevalence, control, and knowledge among adults

Sebastian NM, Jesha MM, Sheela P Haveri, Arya S Nath.

Background: Hypertension a silent killer as it is symptomless and remains undiagnosed, and not controlled if diagnosed. Hypertension is on the increase and affects more than 20% of adult population. Prevalence estimates are required to design control measures for hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and stroke.

Objective: This study aims to reveal the prevalence, proportion of hypertension cases treated and controlled, and the knowledge and practice among hypertensives.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional community-based study was conducted among adults above 30 in the municipal town of Perinthalmanna, Kerala, India. The blood pressures (BPs) of 1154 adults were recorded at their homes along with their personal details, history of earlier diagnosis, treatment, and dietary and lifestyle modification. Data were entered in Microsoft Excel and analyzed using Epi-info.

Result: The prevalence of hypertension was 32.3%. Among them 55% were already diagnosed and 45% newly diagnosed during the study. The prevalence increases with age. Prevalence of prehypertension was 43.7%. Among those treated, only 33.9% had their BPs controlled. The percentage of those who were aware of dietary restriction was 79.4% and 76% were practicing. The percentage of subjects aware of a need for regular BP check was 83.6% but 69% were doing so. Only 42.6% were aware of a need for other lifestyle changes and 34.4% were practicing. Age, family history, and sedentary lifestyle were identified as correlates of hypertension.

Conclusion: The prevalence of hypertension and prehypertension is high and the control of hypertension among those treated is low.

Key words: Hypertension, prevalence, control, correlates, awareness and practice

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