BMC public health 2017 04 2817(1) 368 doi 10.1186/s12889-017-4260-5
Ghana faces an increasing burden of non-communicable disease with rates of hypertension estimated as high as 36% in adults. Despite these high rates, hypertension control remains very poor in Ghana (4%). The current project aims to implement and evaluate a community-based programme to raise awareness, and to improve treatment and control of hypertension in the Eastern Region of Ghana. In this paper, we present the findings of the baseline cross-sectional survey focusing on hypertension prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control.
To evaluate the ComHIP project, a quasi-experimental design consisted of a before and after evaluations are being implemented in the intervention and comparison districts. A cohort study component is being implemented in the intervention district to assess hypertension control. Background anthropometric and clinical data collected as part of the baseline survey were analyzed in STATA Version 11. We examined the characteristics of individuals, associated with the baseline study outcomes using logistic regression models.
We interviewed 2400 respondents (1200 each from the comparison and intervention districts), although final sample sizes after data cleaning were 1170 participants in the comparison district and 1167 in the intervention district. With the exception of ethnicity, the control and intervention districts compare favorably. Overall 32.4% of the study respondents were hypertensive (31.4% in the control site; and 33.4% in the intervention site); 46.2% of hypertensive individuals were aware of a previous diagnosis of hypertension (44.7% in the control site, and 47.7% in the intervention site), and only around 9% of these were being treated in either arm. Hypertension control was 1.3% overall (0.5% in the comparison site, and 2.1% in the intervention site). Age was a predictor of having hypertension, and so was increasing body mass index (BMI), waist, and hip circumferences. After adjusting for age, the risk factors with the greatest association with hypertension were being overweight (aOR = 2.30; 95% CI 1.53-3.46) or obese (aOR = 3.61; 95% CI 2.37-5.51). Older individuals were more likely to be aware of their hypertension status than younger people. After adjusting for age people with a family history of hypertension or CVD, or having an unhealthy waist hip ratio, were more likely to be aware of their hypertension status.
The high burden of hypertension among the studied population, coupled with high awareness, yet very low level of hypertension treatment and control requires in-depth investigation of the bottlenecks to treatment and control. The low hypertension treatment and control rates despite current and previous general educational programs particularly in the intervention district, may suggest that such programs are not necessarily impactful on the health of the population.