Assessing the risk of hypertension and prehypertension; and its determinants among rural women
The increasing prevalence of hypertension in India as indicated by recent studies is a matter of public health concern, as it is one of the major risk factor for heart diseases, stroke, kidney failure and premature mortality. This cross-sectional survey was conducted among 200 women between the ages 20 to 60 years residing in a rural area of Tiruvallur district, Tamil Nadu. Statistical tests like Chi-square and logistic regression analysis were carried out to attain the study objective. Results showed that 20% of women were found to be hypertensive while another 21% were diagnosed with pre-hypertension. Among the total hypertensive 55% (22) were being diagnosed for the first time during the survey. Factors such as older age, personal history of diabetes mellitus, family history of hypertension, higher body fat percentage and habit of chewing betel nut were associated with elevated blood pressure. Higher odds of developing hypertension were found to be in older women and individuals with a maternal history of hypertension. Intervention strategies to detect individuals with hypertension and prehypertension are needed to prevent the spread of cardiovascular diseases.
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