Plos Global Public Health
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Precision Health / School of Science
Hypertension (HTN) is the leading cause of cardiovascular diseases. Nevertheless, most individuals in developing countries are unaware of their blood pressure status. We determined the prevalence of unrecognized hypertension and its association with lifestyle factors and new obesity indices among the adult population. This community-based study was conducted among 1288 apparently healthy adults aged 18–80 years in the Ablekuma North Municipality, Ghana. Sociodemographic, lifestyle characteristics, blood pressure and anthropometric indices were obtained. The prevalence of unrecognized HTN was 18.4% (237 / 1288). The age groups 45–54 years [aOR = 2.29, 95% CI (1.33–3.95), p = 0.003] and 55–79 years [aOR = 3.25, 95% CI (1.61–6.54), p = 0.001], being divorced [aOR = 3.02 95% CI (1.33–6.90), p = 0.008], weekly [aOR = 4.10, 95% CI (1.77–9.51), p = 0.001] and daily alcohol intake [aOR = 5.62, 95% CI (1.26–12.236), p = 0.028] and no exercise or at most once a week [aOR = 2.25, 95% CI (1.56–3.66), p = 0.001] were independently associated with HTN. Among males, the fourth quartile (Q4) of both body roundness index (BRI) and waist to height ratio (WHtR) [aOR = 5.19, 95% CI (1.05–25.50), p = 0.043] were independent determinants of unrecognized HTN. Among females, the third quartile (Q3) [aOR = 7.96, 95% CI (1.51–42.52), p = 0.015] and Q4 [aOR = 9.87 95% CI (1.92–53.31), p = 0.007] of abdominal volume index (AVI), the Q3 of both BRI and WHtR [aOR = 6.07, 95% CI (1.05–34.94), p = 0.044] and Q4 of both BRI and WHtR [aOR = 9.76, 95% CI (1.74–54.96), p = 0.010] were independent risk factors of HTN. Overall, BRI (AUC = 0.724) and WHtR (AUC = 0.724) for males and AVI (AUC = 0.728), WHtR (AUC = 0.703) and BRI (AUC = 0.703) for females yielded a better discriminatory power for predicting unrecognized HTN. Unrecognized hypertension is common among the apparently healthy adults. Increased awareness of its risk factors, screening, and promoting lifestyle modification is needed to prevent the onset of hypertension.
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