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A cross-sectional study on prevalence of hypertension and risk factors associated with hypertension in a rural area of North Kerala

Satheesh B C, Shankar K.

Background: Hypertension (HTN) is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and deaths due to CVD globally. HTN is a major public health concern in India both in urban and rural areas and is increasing at an alarming rate due to change in dietary patterns and lifestyle. The common risk factors associated with HTN were smoking, overweight, physical inactivity, alcohol consumption, diabetes, and family history. Due to inadequate access to healthcare facilities at rural areas, the early screening and treatment of HTN are not done regularly, so we conducted this study.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of HTN and risk factors associated with it in the rural community of North Kerala.

Materials and Methods: Community-based cross-sectional study was conducted at selected gram panchayath in rural field practice area of a private medical college. Sample size was 200 and convenient sampling method used. Data were collected visiting homes and blood pressure measured with mercury sphygmomanometer by descriptive statistics and Chi-square-test were used to analyze the data.

Results: Among 200 participants, 52.5% and 47.5% were females and males, respectively. The overall prevalence of HTN was 21% and risk factors associated were male gender, aged ≥45 years, lack of exercise, obesity and high waist circumference.

Conclusion: About 15.5% of cases were newly diagnosed for HTN. The risk factors identified were male gender, aged ≥45 years, lack of exercise, high body mass index and central obesity. Addressing these risk factors as earliest by health education regarding lifestyle changes and early detection and treatment initiation for HTN will decrease the burden of HTN and other non-communicable diseases.

Key words: Hypertension; Prevalence; Risk Factors; Rural; Kerala

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