Screening for hypertension among adults: community outreach in Cairo, Egypt

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Abstract

Background

Studies have shown alarming levels of hypertension among adults in the Middle East. The aim of our study is to measure the prevalence rate of hypertension among adults in Cairo (Egypt), identify possible risk factors for the development of hypertension and assess the rates of undiagnosed and uncontrolled hypertension.

Methods

Cluster sampling was utilized and the fieldwork was conducted by 12 teams; each team consisted of a house officer, community worker and senior epidemiologist. A formulated questionnaire that addresses risk factors for hypertension was filled by all participants. Also, weight and height measurements were done to calculate the body mass index. Blood pressure measurement was done by calibrated sphygmomanometers. Blood pressure measurement was done twice, and a mean recording was calculated. A case which recorded both systolic blood pressure of ≥140 and diastolic blood pressure of ≥90 was considered hypertensive.

Results

The study included 774 adult residents of Al-Waily District (Western Zone of Cairo) in late 2011 and early 2012. The mean age of the study participants was 46.5 (SD 17.9) years. Female subjects constituted 67.1% of the studied sample. The prevalence rate of hypertension in our study was 16.5% (95% confidence interval (CI): 13.9–19.3). The rate of hypertension was higher among females and three times higher among obese compared with normal or overweight adults. The prevalence of undiagnosed hypertension was 11% (95% CI: 8.4–13.9), and uncontrolled hypertension was 30% (95% CI: 24.2–37).

Conclusions

Community outreach campaigns should be conducted regularly in the future for early detection of hypertension cases and proper health education about hypertension and its dangerous consequences.

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