Journal of health, population, and nutrition 2017 11 1036(1) 35 doi 10.1186/s41043-017-0112-2
Hypertension is a public health problem and the main contributor to cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. Little is known about hypertension among the minority, diverse and socially disadvantaged 23-24 million Fulani/Peul populations dispersed in West, Central and East Africa, undergoing a transition from traditional to transitional and modern lifestyle. This study describes age and gender variations in blood pressure and drivers of hypertension among rural Fulani population of Cameroon.
We analysed population-based cross-sectional data collected in 2013 by standard methods from 1337 Fulani/Peul aged ≥ 20 years. Hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥ 140 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥ 90 mmHg or current use of anti-hypertensive medication. We elucidated the occurrence and drivers of hypertension by chi-square test, Student’s t test and univariate and multivariable logistic regression models.
The prevalence of hypertension was 31.1% (men 36.5% and women 28.7%). Systolic and diastolic blood pressure increased with age. Older women suffered more from grades 1, 2 and 3 hypertension than older men. Old age, divorced/separated, never attended school, current/former smoker, family history (FH) of hypertension, diabetic, underweight and substantially increased risk from waist circumference were independently associated with hypertension. Insomnia and had 8-12 children were the only drivers of hypertension among men.
Prevalence of hypertension was high. Awareness and control were low. Hypertension prevalence increased with age and was more prevalent among men than women. Older women experienced severe hypertension more than older men. Culturally embedded interventions are warranted to curb the high burden of hypertension among the Fulani.