Physiological, Behavioral, and Dietary Characteristics Associated with Hypertension among Kenyan Defence Forces
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Background. Hypertensive disease is increasing in developing countries due to nutritional transition and westernization. Hypertensive disease among Kenya military may be lower because of health-focused recruitment, physical activities, routine checkups, and health awareness and management, but the disease has been increasing. Purpose. The purpose of this study was to determine physiological, behavioral, and dietary characteristics associated with hypertension among Kenyan military. Methods. A cross-sectional study involving 340 participants was conducted at Armed Forces Memorial Hospital. Participants' history, risk factors assessment, and dietary patterns were obtained by structured questionnaire, while physiological and anthropometric parameters were measured. Results. Hypertensive participants were likely to have higher age, physiological, and anthropometric measurements, and they participated in peace missions. Daily alcohol and smoking, frequent red meat, and inadequate fruits and vegetables were associated with hypertension. Conclusions. The findings mimic the main risk factors and characteristics for hypertensive disease in developed countries whose lifestyle adoption is happening fast in low and middle-income countries. Whether or not prediction rules and/or risk scores may identify at-risk individuals for preventive strategy for targeted behavioral interventions among this population require investigation.