The prevalence of hypertension in rural populations in India is increasing, but little is known about awareness of hypertensive status or knowledge of risk factors for hypertension. We aimed to determine knowledge about risk factors for hypertension in individuals with and without hypertension, and to identify factors associated with better knowledge.Design and Method:
Residents of randomised rural villages (n = 58) were invited to participate in a study of hypertension. We measured blood pressure (BP), height, weight, waist and hip circumference and administered a questionnaire to obtain information on sociodemographic and behavioural characteristics, and knowledge of hypertension. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine factors associated with knowledge of more than one risk factor (median) for hypertension.Results:
The study included 626 individuals. Knowledge about risk factors for hypertension was poor in both those with hypertension who were aware (74/117; 63%) and unaware of the condition (169/209; 81%); as well as those without hypertension (247/300; 82%). Only 13% of women and 29% of men were aware of more than one risk factor for hypertension. Factors associated with knowledge about risk factors for hypertension were younger age (Odds Ratio (OR) 0.98, 95% Confidence Interval (95% CI) 0.96–0.97), being male (OR 2.32, 95% CI 1.36–3.98), higher educational attainment (OR 1.86, 95% CI 1.11–3.14), being overweight or obese (OR 2.91, 95% CI 1.75–4.84), and being aware of one's hypertensive status (OR 2.72, 95% CI 1.61–4.60).Conclusions:
Our findings highlight poor knowledge about risk factors for hypertension in a disadvantaged Indian population. Targeting educational interventions to the identified high risk groups should be a priority, as this may improve knowledge of hypertension as well as promote healthy lifestyle behavioural changes in this rural population.