Prevalence,awareness and factors associated with hypertension in North West Tanzania

Neema R. Mosha, Michael Mahande, Adinan Juma, Innocent Mboya, Rob Peck, Mark Urassa, Denna Michael & Jim Todd
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Background: Hypertension is a public health problem, and yet few people are aware of it and even fewer access effective treatment. With the ongoing demographic transition in many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, people are changing from rural, manual work to urban lifestyles, hence the risk of hypertension increases.

Objective: This study aimed at determining the prevalence, awareness and risk factors associated with hypertension in North West Tanzania.

Design: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among adults in Magu District in 2013. Information on socio-demographic, economic and lifestyle characteristics, medical conditions, and risk factors for hypertension were collected according to the WHO Steps survey tool. Measurements of blood pressure, blood sugar, pulse rate, and anthropometry were taken. Multivariate logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for factors associated with hypertension (Blood pressure ≥140/90mm/Hg). Frequencies and percentages were used to determine the awareness, and treatment among hypertensive participants.

Results: Among 9678 participants, the prevalence of hypertension was 8.0% and pre-hypertension 36.2%. There was a higher prevalence of hypertension at older ages, among females (8.2%) compared to males (7.7%), and among urban dwellers (10.1%) compared to rural residents (6.8%). Overweight, obese, and diabetic individuals had a higher risk of hypertension while HIV positive participants had a lower risk of hypertension (OR = 0.56; 95% CI 0.39 – 0.79). Among participants with hypertension, awareness was less than 10%.

Conclusion: By integrating blood pressure screening into our long-standing community HIV screening program, we were able to identify many previously undiagnosed cases of hypertension and pre-hypertension. Age, residence, overweight and obesity were the major associated factors for hypertension. Awareness and treatment rates are very low indicating the need for programs to improve awareness, and treatment of hypertension.

KEYWORDS: Hypertensionprevalencetanzaniacommunity-basedadultrisk factors

Additional information

Author information

Neema R. Mosha

NM, MU and JT designed the study. NM, JT, IM, JA and MM conducted or contributed to the data analysis. NM, JT, IM, JA, RP and MM interpreted the data. NM, JT and MM prepared the original manuscript. All co-authors contributed to subsequent revisions and approved the final version. NM is the guarantor of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Michael Mahande

Adinan Juma

Innocent Mboya

Rob Peck

Mark Urassa

Denna Michael

Jim Todd


The Magu HDSS Round 7 was funded by Wellcome Trust, the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (through the ALPHA network) and the US NIH (through the IeDEA consortium). This work was supported by Training Health Researchers into Vocational Excellence in East Africa (THRiVE), grant number 087540/Z/08/Z funded by the Wellcome Trust. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the supporting offices.