Prevalence of Hypertension and other Cardiovascular risk factors in Kibera Slum, Nairobi
Background: Non- Communicable Diseases (NCDs), and more specifically cardiovascular di§eases (CVD), are a major cause of the morbidity and mortality burden worldwide and in the Sub-Saharan Africa. Hypertension is an important public health challenge worldwide. Information on the burden of disease from hypertension is essential in developing effective prevention and control strategies. An up-to-date and comprehensive assessment of the evidence concerning hypertension in Kenya is lacking. NCDs, and particularly CVD, are strongly related to a few lifestyles and physiological risk factors. Detrimental lifestyles include smoking, unhealthy nutrition (mostly high intake of saturated fats, salt, and low intake of fruit and vegetables) and sedentary habits. Physiological risk factors, which are strongly linked to lifestyles, include overweight, high blood pressure, blood lipid disorders (e.g. high blood cholesterol) and diabetes. It is well established that up to 80% of cases of premature CVD, and a substantial proportion of other chronic diseases could be prevented or delayed if these few risk factors were kept at favorable levels throughout life in the population, using strategies targeting both the entire population and high risk individuals. Aim of the survey: To assess, the prevalence of Hypertension and associated cardiovascular risk factors in a representative sample of the adult population of Kibera slum in Nairobi Kenya. Methods Study population: The study population included adults 18 years and above who have been residents of Kibera for a minimum of three months. Study design: Crossectional community cluster household survey utilizing both qualitative and quantative methods of data collection. The methodology of the survey used the STEPwise approach a tool for epidemiologic survey advised by the World Health Organization (core, expanded and optional modules).The questions assessed tobacco use, physical activity, and alcohol intake and socio demographic variables. Blood pressure, weight, height, hip and waist circumferences were measured. Blood glucose, cholesterol and hs CRP measured for the subjects who were found to be hypertensive. Results: The prevalence of hypertension was found to be 13%; with female prevalence of 15.9% significantly greater than males of 10.3%. The prevalence increased significantly with age. The hypertensives were found to have a-collestellation of other CVD risk factors namely cigarette smoking, obesity, less physical activity, and high risk CRP levels. Conclusion: The study results indicate a significant burden of hypertension and other CVD risk factors. Therefore there is need to further strengthen health promotion and prevention programs in the general population in order to reduce new cases of hypertension and CVDs and improve health care to patients with hypertension in order to reduce mortality and morbidity.