Risk factors of pre‐hypertension and hypertension among non‐pregnant women of reproductive age in northeastern Tanzania: a community based cross‐sectional study

Omari A. Msemo Christentze Schmiegelow Birgitte B. Nielsen Hannah Kousholt Louise G. Grunnet Dirk L. Christensen John P. A. Lusingu Sofie L. Møller Reginald A. Kavishe Daniel T. R. Minja Ib C. Bygbjerg
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To determine risk factors of pre‐hypertension and hypertension in a cohort of 1247 rural Tanzanian women before conception.


Demographic and socioeconomic data, anthropometric measurements, past medical and obstetric history and other risk factors for pre‐hypertension and hypertension were collected using a structured questionnaire. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the associations between anthropometric indices and other risk factors of pre‐hypertension and hypertension. The predictive power of different anthropometric indicators for identification of pre‐hypertension and hypertension patients was determined by Receiver Operating Characteristic curves (ROC).


The median (range) age was 28.0 (18–40) years. The age‐standardised prevalences of pre‐hypertension and hypertension were 37.2 (95% CI 34.0–40.6) and 8.5% (95%CI 6.7–10.8), respectively. Of hypertensive patients (n = 98), only 20 (20.4%) were aware of their condition. In multivariate analysis, increasing age, obesity and haemoglobin levels were significantly associated with pre‐hypertension and hypertension.


Despite a low prevalence of hypertension, over one third of the women had pre‐hypertension. This poses a great challenge ahead as pre‐hypertensive women may progress into hypertension as they grow older without appropriate interventions. Obesity was the single most important modifiable risk factor for pre‐hypertension and hypertension.