Blood Pressure and its Associated Risk Factors among Staff at Uasin Gishu Level 5 Hospital, Uasin Gishu County, Kenya
Sum, Jepchumba Rael
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High blood pressure continues to be a global public health issue and attention needs to be given to primary preventive measures especially among health practitioners who are a channel to the entire population. Modifiable risk factors for hypertension include overweight and obesity, low consumption of fruits/vegetables, physical inactivity, occupational stress, smoking and excess alcohol consumption. The prevalence of hypertension among health workers in other countries outside and within Africa ranges between 10%-33% while Kenya is between 18.4-32.6% among various community populations but there is no specific data on the prevalence of hypertension among health workers in Uasin Gishu County. This study aimed at determining blood pressure and its associated risk factors among staff at Uasin Gishu level 5 Hospital, Uasin-Gishu County. A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted on a convenient sample of 136 respondents at Uasin Gishu hospital since it is the largest hospital in Uasin Gishu County. Pretested and validated tools were used. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on socio-demographic characteristics and behavioural factors. 24-hour dietary recall and dietary diversity score were used to collect data on dietary practices. Data on physical activity levels of respondents was collected using the Global physical activity questionnaire. Anthropometric parameters namely weight, height and waist hip ratio were used to determine the nutritional status which was described using World Health Organization classification on Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist hip ratio (WHR). 24hr dietary recall data were analyzed using Nutri-survey. Demographic and socio-economic factors, behavioural factors, occupational stress, dietary practices, nutritional status and physical activity level were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Pearson correlation test was used to determine the relationship between variables, chi-square for the association. A p-value of <0.05 was used as a criterion for statistical significance. The mean age of the hospital staff was 36.96±9.96 years. Prevalence of high blood pressure was 22.6% with the most prevalent risk factors being central obesity (66.9%), BMI above 24.9kg/m2 (63.4%), occupational stress (23%) and physical inactivity at 14%. High dietary cholesterol intake of 219mg which is above RDI of 200mg was observed in female respondents. A Majority (80.1%) had medium dietary diversity score. Dietary intake of key micronutrients such as potassium, calcium in women and vitamin C in males were below the recommended dietary intake. Gender was associated with BMI (p-value = 0.007) and physical activity level (p-value = < 0.001). Factors related to BP were BMI (p-value= 0.011), WHR (p-value= 0.002), age (p-value = < 0.001), education (p-value= 0.016) and household size (p-value= 0.004). Socio-demographic and nutritional status of Uasin Gishu hospital staff influenced their BP levels. Based on findings from this study, respondents should be informed on their nutritional status and blood pressure levels and its associated risk factors. County health administration may find the results from this study useful to help come up with interventions to curb risk factors among their staff. Ministry of Health and other relevant stakeholders such as Kenya Cardiac Society, International Society of hypertension and MoH involved in the prevention and management of hypertension may find this information useful for guiding policy and meeting global targets and goals.