Factors associated with awareness, treatment and control of hypertension in a disadvantaged rural Indian population

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with awareness, treatment and control of hypertension in a rural setting in India. Following screening of the population, all individuals with hypertension (blood pressure (BP) ≥ 140/90 mm Hg or taking antihypertensive medications) were invited to participate in this study. We measured BP, height, weight, skinfolds, waist and hip circumference, and administered a questionnaire to obtain information regarding socioeconomic and behavioural characteristics. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with awareness, treatment and control of hypertension. We recruited 277 individuals with hypertension. Awareness (43%), treatment (33%) and control (27%) of hypertension were poor. Greater distance to health services (odds ratio (OR) 0.56 (95% confidence interval (CI)) 0.32-0.98) was associated with poor awareness of hypertension while having had BP measured within the previous year (OR 4.72, 95% CI 2.71-8.22), older age and greater per cent body fat were associated with better awareness. Factors associated with treatment of hypertension were having had BP measured within the previous year (OR 6.18, 95% CI 3.23-11.82), age ≥ 65 years, physical inactivity and greater per cent body fat. The only factor associated with control of hypertension was greater per cent body fat (OR 1.05, 95% CI 1.01-1.11). Improving geographic access and utilisation of health services should improve awareness and treatment of hypertension in this rural population. Further research is necessary to determine drivers of control.

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